Post-surgical Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Pain Medications

It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You will be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. If necessary, you may take your pain medication more frequently than every 4-6 hours to stay ahead of the soreness. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

As an alternative to prescription medications, over the counter medications should suffice every 4-6 hours as needed.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.

Swelling

Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 – 48 hours.

Bleeding

A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Elevate your head when lying down.
  • Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 30 minutes; repeat if necessary.
  • Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 30 minutes.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists.

 Dressing

Sometimes a dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off, you can clean area gently with the soft brush given.

Diet

Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for the first 24 hours. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing. Avoid nuts, seeds and popcorn for 4 – 6 weeks.

Smoking

Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.

Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.

Rinsing

Do not rinse for the first 24 hours. After that, you may use warm salt water rinse as needed. If prescription mouthwash is given, use as directed.

Brushing

Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Suture Removal

You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.

Post-surgical Forms

Please CLICK HERE to download and print our Post-surgical Care for Implant, Ridge Augmentation or Bone Graft Surgery.

Please CLICK HERE to download and print our Post-surgical Care for Free Gingival Graft or Connective Tissue Graft.

Please CLICK HERE to download and print our Post-surgical Care for Allograft.

Please CLICK HERE to download and print our Post-surgical Care for Osseous Surgery or Crown Lengthening.