Post-Operative Instructions


Wound Care

  • Bite firmly on the gauze pack until you arrive at home and then remove it gently.
  • Do not smoke for at least 12 hours after surgery, it will promote bleeding and interfere with healing.

Bleeding

  • It is normal for blood to ooze from the area of surgery. It is advisable for you to use an old pillowcase the first night.
  • Do not spit or suck thick fluids through a straw, because this can dislodge the blood clot, resulting in a dry socket.
  • If bleeding begins again, place a small damp gauze directly over the tooth socket and bite for 30 minutes.
  • Keep your head elevated with several pillows or sit in a lounge chair.

Discomfort

  • Some discomfort is normal after surgery. It can be controlled, but not eliminated, by taking the prescribed pain medicine.
  • If the medication causes nausea, take it with a whole glass of water and with a small amount of food.
  • Do not drive or drink alcohol with your prescribed pain medication.

Diet

  • It is important to drink a large volume of fluids. Do not drink thick fluids through a straw, this can dislodge the blood clot and result in a dry socket.
  • Eat normal regular meals as soon as possible after surgery. Cold, soft food such as ice cream or yogurt may be the most comfortable for the first day.

Oral Hygiene

  • The next morning after surgery, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz of warm water) every 4 hours.
  • Brush your teeth like normal, but avoid the area of surgery.

Swelling

  • Swelling after surgery is to be expected. It reaches its maximum about 48 hours after surgery and usually lasts 4-6 days.
  • Applying ice packs over the area of surgery for the first 12 hours helps control swelling and may help the area to be more comfortable.

Rest

  • Avoid strenuous activity for 12 hours after surgery.

Bruising

  • You may experience mild bruising in the area of your surgery. This is a normal response and should not be a cause for alarm. It will go away in 7-14 days.

Stiffness

  • After surgery you may experience jaw muscle stiffness and limited opening of the mouth. This is normal and will improve in 5-10 days.

Stitches

  • If stitches have been placed in the area of your surgery, you will need to return for a follow up visit in about 2 weeks.

Call our office if:

  • You experience excessive discomfort that you cannot control with your pain medication.
  • You have bleeding that you cannot control by biting on a gauze pack. You experience a large amount of swelling in a short amount of time.
  • You feel you have a fever.
  • You have any questions.