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Post-Operative Instructions: General


Surgical wounds usually heal quickly and without complications if simple precautions are taken. ABSOLUTELY NO MOUTH RINSING OR HOT DRINKS ON THE DAY OF SURGERY. The day following surgery, the mouth may be rinsed with warm salt water after each meal and at bedtime. The teeth should be brushed as usual, but the site of surgery should be avoided until it can be gently brushed without discomfort. If an irrigating syringe has been given to you, begin irrigating your extraction socket(s) with tap water 1 week following your surgery. Continue irrigating two to three times a day for 2–3 weeks.


Some bleeding or oozing is normal for up to 24 hours following oral surgery. When you leave the office, a gauze pack will be placed in the area of surgery. Keep firm and steady pressure on the gauze for 1 hour post surgery. If there seems to be bleeding, dampen another gauze pad or a tea bag and place it DIRECTLY OVER THE SURGICAL SITE and bite down for an additional hour while in a reclining position. If this does not control the bleeding, call the office for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal and healthy reaction to surgery. Sometimes the swollen area can become quite large. Swelling usually reaches its peak 48 hours post surgery and then slowly decreases. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then 10 minutes off for the rest of the day after your surgery. Repeat this for as much of the day after as well. Sleeping with the head elevated for 1 week following surgery also helps reduce swelling.


Some discomfort is to be expected following oral surgery. Immediately upon returning home and before the local anesthesia wears off, take two 200 mg ibuprofen tablets (Advil®, Motrin®) with ONE extra strength 500 mg Tylenol® tablet. We have found this reduces the amount of narcotic-based pain medication required. Please note, you may not exceed 4000 mg of Tylenol per day for a maximum of 7 days (note: the narcotic-based pain medicine contains 325 mg of Tylenol). Some nausea is not uncommon while taking pain relievers. Taking the medication with a light snack can minimize this. If you are taking a narcotic-based medication, please note that the medication may make you drowsy.

CAUTION: Refrain from operating a motor vehicle while taking a prescribed narcotic pain medication (ex: Hydrocodone, Tylenol with codeine, Vicodin®, Percocet®, and Vicoprofen®). Do not take more than one prescribed narcotic at a time. Please consult with your doctor if you are unsure about taking ibuprofen or Tylenol, or if you have had previous allergic reactions to these medications.


To help the healing process, try not to miss a meal after surgery. A cool, soft diet is wise on the day of surgery. For the next several days, eat soft foods high in vitamins and proteins. Be sure to drink large amounts of fluids, even if you are not thirsty. Avoid drinking with a straw for several days.


Studies have shown that oral surgical wounds take more time to heal if the patient smokes or vapes following surgery. AVOID SMOKING & VAPING FOR 1 WEEK. Absolutely no alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after surgery, or while taking prescription pain relievers.


Patients who were asleep for their procedure MUST NOT DRIVE FOR 24 HOURS.

If you have any problems or questions, feel free to call us at any time.

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