Post Operative Instructions

Mouth Hygiene: DO NOT rinse or spit for 24 hours.  DO NOT SMOKE.  DO NOT use a straw.  These activities increase your chance of having a dry socket.  One day following your procedure use one-quarter teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glass.  Rinse 3 to 4 times daily, especially after meals.  Brush your teeth morning and night as usual, avoiding the surgical areas.  A slight odor and foul taste after oral surgery can be expected.

Pain: It is advisable to take pain medication before the local anesthesia wears off.  If you were not given a prescription you may take over the counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  If you received a prescription take it as directed.  If you do not achieve relief you may supplement each pill with Ibuprofen.  Some people may even require two of the pain pills at one time.  Make sure to take narcotic pain medicine with food to minimize nausea and vomiting.  DO NOT drive or operate machinery, 24 hours after general anesthesia or sedation, or while taking narcotic pain medicine (Codeine, Vicodin, Percocet).

Swelling:  Peak swelling occurs around 48 hours.  You can minimize this swelling by using an ice bag on the outside of your face over the operated area.  20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, for the first 24 hours.

Bleeding: Intermittent bleeding and oozing is normal.  Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh gauze directly over the surgical area and biting down for 30 minutes.  Bleeding should not be severe.  If bleeding persists or becomes heavy you may substitute a tea bag for the gauze, and apply pressure.  If bleeding remains uncontrolled please call our office.

Diet:  A diet of liquids and soft foods is advisable during the first 24 hours, a few days longer for more extensive surgery.  Try to avoid chewing near surgical areas.  Advance to your pre-surgical diet as tolerated.  To avoid lip or cheek biting wait until the local anesthesia has worn off before eating.

Sharp Edges:  Are common after an extraction.  Small pieces of bone may loosen and work themselves through the gums.  These are not pieces of tooth; they are annoying for several days but resolve on their own.

Bruising:  Bruising and swelling may be expected when bleeding occurs under the tissue.  It usually resolves over several days.  If you develop bruising or discomfort at an IV site, apply a warm compress several times a day.

Faithful compliance with these instructions will improve comfort and hasten recovery.  Your care does not cease with the completion of surgery.  If any difficulty arises, please call our office or return for an evaluation.