Gerald S. Fine, D.D.S.

   Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Brookline Office
Tel: 617-731-6060

Our commitment is to provide you the highest standard of oral and maxillofacial surgery in a professional manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are committed to professional as well as patient education and have made available on our web site a number of frequently asked questions. Click topics below for answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions:

Post Operative Instructions
  1. Please close with firm pressure on the gauze until ______________. This will be the ONLY gauze you are to use.
  2. When you remove the gauze a little bleeding or seepage from the surgical sites is normal and expected. Do NOT rinse or "spit" today. Changing the gauze, rinsing or "spitting" to cope with the minimal bleeding actually creates an initiates MORE bleeding. These actions dislodge the newly created clot, which initiates additional bleeding and could result in infection and a longer recovery period.‍‍
  3. Apply ice to your face. This will help minimize swelling. Tomorrow the use of ice and/or moist heat to the face is advised. Both are noted to be beneficial. Swelling and some difficulty in normal eating are to be expected.
  4. DIET & PAIN MANAGEMENT: A narcotic prescription will be provided. Many Narcotic medications cause nausea, vomiting, and my be difficult to tolerate. It is very important that you eat prior to first taking the prescribed medication. Recommended foods are in the starch (complex carbohydrate) family. Noodles, rices, pasta, mashed potatoes are some examples. Liquids such as soups, yogurt, Jell-O, ice cream do NOT provide a solid enough base to reduce the side effects commonly associated with the prescription medication. It is also highly suggested that a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (N.S.A.I.D.) medication such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Naproxin, etc. be used along with the narcotic prescription if your medical condition permits such usage.
  5. If you develop a constant dull ache or throbbing sensation beginning on the THIRD day following your surgery, which does not respond to your pain medication, please call our office. You may be developing a "dry socket", which commonly occurs following the surgical removal of a tooth. The placement of medicated packing material with-in the socket of the tooth relieves the discomfort.
  6. An elevated temperature immediately following surgery up to 101.0 degrees is not unusual. Please call our office if your temperature is greater than 101.0 degrees. 
What i‍s a Dry Socket

A "dry socket" occurs when the blood clot is lost from the extraction site prematurely. Basically, the blood clot in the socket serves the same two functions as a "scab" on the cut skin surface. First, it assists in the cessation of bleeding, and secondly, it protects underlying structures during the healing process.

When the blood clot is lost before the underlying structure has had time to heal, bone is exposed to the environment along with fine nerve endings. This is an exquisitely painful, but otherwise relatively harmless situation. There are packing materials, which the oral surgeon can place to help ease, the discomfort both by physically blocking the wound and by the action of the packing medication on the nerve endings. Generally, patients return to have the packings changed every day or two and most patients do not require more than 2 or 3 dressing changes. Some patients require no dressing changes: some may require 4 or 5 changes.

There are some activities which increase the propensity for a "dry socket" formation.Smoking, drinking carbonated beverages during the first 24 hours, spiting, or rinsing frequently, frequent changing of the gauze, women on birth control pills, and the surgical removal of teeth, especially previously root canalled teeth.

Is a TM Disorder a Problem For You?

You can have a TM disorder for a long time without realizing it. That's because some of the symptoms, such as worn teeth or headaches, may seem unrelated to your jaw joints and muscles. Is a TM disorder causing you problems? Begin to find out by asking yourself these questions.

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have a frequent headaches or neck aches? Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaw?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken, or worn?

The more times you answered "yes", the more likely it is that you have a TM disorder. Understanding TM disorders will also help you understand how they're treated.

In case of Emergency CALL: (617)731-6060