Post-operative Instructions


If you choose to have IV sedation/general anesthesia you will need to have a completely empty stomach for six hours prior to your surgery. Be sure to have a driver who will wait in our waiting room for you during your visit. Wear a comfortable short sleeve shirt. Do not wear any excessive make up or nail polish on the day of surgery. It is best to leave your jewelry at home. Be sure not to wear contact lenses on the day of surgery. For the first 24 hours after anesthesia, you should not drive or operate any hazardous equipment.

Pain and swelling

Postoperative swelling and pain are common and can last from a few days to over a week. Swelling and pain can be reduced by the application of ice packs to your face for 20 minutes at a time per side starting the day of surgery. Swelling can also be decreased by elevating the head. Be sure to take medications as prescribed to reduce pain, swelling and the risk of infection. Avoid taking pain medication on an empty stomach. Also remember that pain medication may make you drowsy and should not be used with alcohol, when driving or participating in critical work.


Be sure to get plenty of fluids, soft food and rest following surgery. Advanced to a normal diet over the next few days as tolerated. It may be best to avoid very hard foods like popcorn, nuts or corn chips for several weeks to protect the healing area.


Bleeding can best be controlled by placing gauze at the surgical site and exerting mild continuous pressure. Keep the gauze in place for 30 to 60 minutes between changes. Repeat with additional gauzes for 30 to 60 minute intervals as needed. Disruption of the clot can cause pain due to delayed healing or dry socket. This can best be avoided for the first seven days by not smoking, not using a straw, not rinsing or spitting, not brushing in the treated area and by not eating hard food. It is normal to have some blood in your saliva in the first day or two following surgery.

Sinus Precautions

Some upper teeth have roots which are in close proximity to the sinuses. The following recommendations are designed to minimize the chance of damaging the delicate sinus membrane. The first few days following surgery, avoid forcefully blowing of the nose. If you sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open. If you catch a cold or have congestion use a non-prescription decongestant. In addition remember smoking delays healing and should be avoided.

Following Surgery

Swelling is common after surgery and should resolve after the first week.

Occasionally other teeth, the throat or ears may be sensitive or ache following surgery. This generally resolves in a few days.

After surgery a depression may be present in the gum. With time this will fill in. Starting one week after surgery rinsing after meals will help keep the area clean.

Do not be alarmed if bruising occurs following a procedure. It will resolve in a few days.

Occasionally temporary numbness of the lips or tongue occurs following surgery. Inform the office if this does not resolve.

The corners of your mouth may be dry or cracked after your appointment. Vaseline or lip balm will keep it comfortable.

The medications given are generally well tolerated, however if a rash or other reaction occurs discontinue the medication and call the office.

If sutures were used they will dissolve on their own.

The pain medications prescribed are effective, but nausea can be a side effect if you take more than you can tolerate . It may be wise to use pain medication at half the dose if tolerance is an issue. You can supplement the pain relievers with other pain relievers such as ibuprofen or Aleve if you tolerate them. Also applying ice to the surgical area for the first 2 to 3 days will significantly improve comfort as well as reduce swelling.

If any problems arise during your treatment please call the office.