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Oral Surgery/hematoma after cavity filling.

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Question
Hello. I was getting a small filling for a cavity last Friday, and it seems the needle giving the anesthesia caused a hematoma in my left cheek (at least that is what my dentist said happened). My dentist told me it will take two weeks to go away and to use ice; he also gave me a generic vicodin prescription as well as antibiotics to avoid infection. Is there anything else I can do to alleviate the pain and make this go away faster, or is this just a wait and deal with it sort of thing? Is there anything else I should be doing? It's been five days and the swelling has gone down a little...but it's still hard to eat, talk, smile, laugh, brush my teeth, etc. My cheek is discolored, as I was expecting, yellowish-blue. My dentist won't be open again until after the holiday weekend and I don't know who else to turn to.

Answer
Lily - Immediately stop the ice.  That should only be used for the first two days.  Immediately begin a regimen of warm salt water rinses.  Do the rinsing in the area of the hematoma for about 4-5 minutes, 4-5 times a day.  You will notice a quick resolution of the swelling and discoloration.  So start the warm salt water rinses.  I wish you well and hope the hematoma resolves soon.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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