Post-Operative 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.

In general, talking and physical activity should remain at a very low level for the day of the procedure and the following day. The use of ice and cold packs over the surgical site is recommended for the remainder of the entire day (until bedtime). Avoid inspecting the surgical site by moving lips, cheeks, and tongue. Take all medications as directed. Following these instructions will not only allow optimal healing but will provide you with improved comfort over the first several days.

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. If you have had implant surgery; there will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.

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 gauze to the area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes, repeat if necessary
  • Place a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.

Call the office if bleeding persists at 877-586-3040.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after 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. Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.

Pain

You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. 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.

For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.

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.

Antibiotics

An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 1 hour following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. 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.

Dressing

The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off or is uncomfortable, please call the office for direction.

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 a mild, diluted mouthwash. Repeat as necessary to help keep the dressing clean.

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.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 877-586-3040.