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Post-Operative Instructions: General


Do NOT smoke, vape, or use chewing tobacco for 1 week following your surgery. Smoking increases pain, the risk of dry socket, infection, and prolongs healing.

PAIN: Most patients are given a prescription for pain medication following surgical procedures. The prescriptions will be sent directly to your pharmacy. Have the prescription filled immediately and use it as directed. Our practice seeks to minimize opioid use in patients. NSAID pain medications are used in appropriate patients to minimize opiate use. We cannot give our prescription pain medication after office hours. If you feel you are going to need additional pain medication, you need to contact us during business hours and before the weekend. A certain amount of pain following surgery is to be expected. If you have not been given a prescription, take over-the-counter pain medication, such as Motrin® or Tylenol®, as instructed by the manufacturer. Applying ice packs will also help to relieve discomfort.

BLEEDING: Bite on gauze for 30 minutes. Do NOT spit. Change the gauze every 30 minutes until the bleeding stops. Spitting can alter the clotting process and cause prolonged bleeding. A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Moist tea bags may also help to slow bleeding. Unless bleeding is excessive, swallow the saliva that accumulates in your mouth.

EATING: Cool foods may be eaten immediately following surgery. Do not eat hot foods until the numbness has worn off. Do not use straws. Light, soft food and plenty of liquids are advisable. Avoid foods that are difficult to chew or that are particularly spicy.

SWELLING: The area operated upon will usually swell and may become quite large. Swelling usually peaks on the second to third day following surgery. To aid in reduction of this swelling, apply an ice pack to the face over the operated area and keep the head elevated. Apply for 30 minutes out of each hour during waking hours for the first 48 hours. Elevating the head while sleeping with two pillows will also reduce swelling. Swelling is a normal post operative response.

MOUTH RINSE: Do not brush or rinse the mouth the day of surgery. This may stimulate bleeding. Rinsing may begin the day after surgery and should be done gently. Use a warm salt water solution (½ teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water) 4–5 times a day for several days. Treat the surgical area gently, but keep it clean. Keeping your entire mouth clean lessens the chance of post-operative infection.

SUTURES: Most of the sutures that we use will dissolve on their own in 3–5 days. We place two sutures at each surgical site so if one suture dissolves, the surgical site will usually heal without incident. Return to our office for suture removal and follow-up care as instructed on the date given.

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