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A biopsy is the taking of a small piece of tissue for microscopic examination usually carried out after a local anæsthetic injection in the area, such as used for fillings.

The biopsy procedure is virtually painless, though when the local anæsthetic injection wears off after a couple of hours, a little soreness will be experienced.

Stitches (sutures) or a dressing may / may not be used.

Stitches (sutures) may be resorbable or need to be removed in the next week (you will be told what type of stitches you’ve had placed). It is usually not a problem if the dressing is lost or the stitches come out earlier than one week.

To aid healing and make you more comfortable, we suggest:

0 – 6 hours

  • avoid rinsing
  • avoid hot drinks
  • avoid alcohol
  • avoid cleaning your teeth

24 hours and after

  • keep your mouth as clean as possible
  • brush your teeth as normal after meals, using your toothbrush away from the surgical area, and use Corsodyl gel / mouthwash
  • rinse with hot, salt mouthwash after meals. (To make this up, dissolve a heaped teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse for about a minute)

Rarely there may be:

  • altered sensation
  • restricted mouth opening
  • reactions to drugs
  • allergies
  • infection

You will be given a swab to bite on for 10 – 15 minutes if there is bleeding but, if you are at all concerned, kindly telephone for further advice.

However, there are usually no long-term consequences.

The scar is usually almost invisible, any discomfort goes quickly and any slight numbness recover

6 – 24 hours

  • brush your teeth as normal after meals, using your toothbrush away from the surgical area and use Corsodyl gel / mouthwash

A biopsy, like any interventive procedure, may occasionally result in complications such as a little:

  • bleeding : do not panic: pressure for 5 – 10 minutes from a gauze swab will almost invariably stop the bleeding
  • soreness / pain: paracetamol or ibuprofen taken before the injection wears off usually controls this; do not use aspirin – it can cause bleeding
  • swelling: this should subside spontaneously over 3 – 4 days
  • bruising: this should clear spontaneously over 4 – 5 days

Biopsy Results:

Dependent on what has been biopsied, you will either be asked to come back so that you can be told what has been removed (and if any further treatment is needed) or you will be told that there is no need for a review and that the results will sent out to the referrer (your dentist / doctor).

When to Contact Us:

During normal working hours, contact the Oral Surgeon / Dentist.

For urgent help out of hours, you may need to attend your local A&E.