Post-Op Instructions


1.  Bite down gently on the gauze for approximately 1 hour-if needed, replace with fresh gauze, folded and placed over the socket/s.
2.  Take the prescription to the pharmacy to be filled within 30 minutes after surgery.
3.  Take your first dose of each medication with soft food and drink.
4.  Avoid taking medication on an empty stomach.
5.  Do NOT use a straw for at least the first three days following surgery.

Do not disturb the surgical area today.  Do NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects or your fingers.  You may brush your teeth gently. Do NOT spit.  Let the water gently roll out of  your mouth.  DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since it is detrimental to healing. Rest with your head elevated.

Intermittent bleeding or oozing is normal.  It may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the surgical area and biting down firmly for 30-60 minutes.

Bleeding is rarely severe.  If it is, it usually means that the gauze packs are being clenched between your teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Remove the gauze packs and place a fresh gauze pack over the areas.  Bite down without opening for 30 minutes. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy you may substitute a moistened tea bag to each site for an additional 30 minutes.  If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.  You may remove the gauze when the bleeding stops.  Normally, by later that day of surgery you can remove the gauze and leave it out. 

There will be swelling associated with oral surgery.  You can minimize by using a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to face or cheek adjacent to the surgical area.  This should be applied twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off during the first 24 hours after surgery.  If you have been prescribed medicine for the control of 
swelling, be sure to take it as directed.  Keeping your head elevated on multiple pillows (even while sleeping) will help as well.

Oral surgery is accompanied by pain and discomfort.  You will have a prescription for pain medication and if you take the first pill before the anesthesia has worn off, you will be better able to manage your pain.  Effect of pain medicines vary widely among individuals.  If you do not achieve adequate relief, you may supplement your pain medication with Ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin (if you are not allergic). You may take 2 pills (400 mg total) every 4 hours. DO NOT TAKE TYLENOL. Many pain medications contain Tylenol and taking it in addition  to your pain medicine would result in an unsafe amount in your system.  The supplemental Ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin is most helpful when taken in between your doses of  pain medicine (at about the halfway point).  The most severe discomfort is usually within the first six hours after the anesthetic wears off; after that your need for pain medication should lessen.  If you experience any unusual drug reaction stop the medication and call us. While taking pain medication, please remain in bed as much as possible.  Exercise care and utilize assistance when you do get up and down.  REMEMBER:  No driving or working with machinery  for at least 24 hours after sedation or anesthesia is given or while taking pain medication. 

Nausea is not an uncommon event after surgery, and it is sometimes caused by anesthesia and stronger pain medicines.  Nausea may be reduced by preceding each pill with a small amount of
soft food.  Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize the pain medication, if possible. If you have been given medicine for nausea, take as directed until no longer needed. Drinking Gatorade or ginger ale may help.  If you are concerned at any time, please call our office.

Eat any nourishing soft foods that can be taken comfortably.  Avoid any foods or liquids that are too hot.  You will still be numb and could be unaware of the intense heat.  Numbness
may persist for six to twelve hours after surgery.  You should choose from soft foods, such as creamed soups, yogurt, milk shakes, puddings, pasta, etc. Avoid any food with small pieces, such as soup with rice, etc… Do not eat nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, chips, or any food that could lodge or scratch the surgical areas for the first 2 weeks.  You may progress to solid foods after several days.  It is important not to skip meals.  You will feel better and gain strength more quickly.  If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions from us or your physician regarding your insulin schedule.

If you feel sharp edges in the surgical areas during healing, it is probably the bony walls
which originally supported the teeth.  Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the first week or two after surgery.  They are normally not pieces of tooth and, if necessary, we will remove them.  Please call the office if you are concerned.


Keeping you mouth clean after surgery is essential.  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 glassful.  Repeat as often as you like, but at least two or three times daily for the next five days. Remember to let the liquid gently roll out of your mouth. No spitting.

Begin your normal oral hygiene as soon as possible after surgery. However, be very gentle with the surgical sites.

Normal healing after tooth extraction should be as follows: The first day of surgery is usually the most uncomfortable and you will experience swelling and stiffness. The second
day you should be more comfortable and although still swollen, you can usually begin a more substantial diet. Swelling will reach its peak between 48 and 72 hours.  From the third day, gradual, steady improvement should mark the remainder of your post-operative course. If a dry socket occurs, (loss of blood clot from socket, usually after the third day), there will be a noticeable, distinct, persistent throbbing pain in the jaw not relieved by prescription medication.  If will often radiate toward the ear and forward along the jaw possibly causing other teeth to ache.  If you think you are experiencing a dry socket, please call our office. The doctor will see you to pack the affected area with a special medicine which will ease the pain. Over the counter Red Cross Toothache Medicine is also a remedy that may help symptoms and can be purchased at most pharmacies or drug stores.