Pre-Operative Instructions

In preparation for your up-coming procedure, please take note of the following:

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • If you must cancel, please call at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Please give us a call before your appointment if you develop any cold, flu, sore throat or other symptoms of illness.
  • You may take prescribed medication the day of surgery (unless told otherwise by your doctor). Do not take any narcotic pain medication or sedatives prior to your appointment.

If you are undergoing IV sedation you will also need to take note of the following:

  • DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO EAT OR DRINK FOR AT LEAST 8 HOURS prior to your surgery.  This information is provided for your health and safety.  If you do not heed these instructions, your appointment will be rescheduled.
  • All prescribed medication should be taken with small sips of water 1½ hour prior to your surgery.
  • You must bring an adult escort with you who can drive you home after the appointment. We will not allow you to drive a vehicle.
  • Your driver/escort must stay in the waiting room until your surgery is completed.
  • Wear a loose, non-binding short-sleeved shirt and comfortable shoes.

  • You need to have an adult at home with you the day of your surgery.

  • Please remove contact lenses before surgery.

  • Nail polish must be removed from your left index finger.            
  • Do not plan any strenuous activities for at least 48 to 72 hours following your procedure.
  • If you have any questions concerning the above, please feel free to contact our office.

Post-Operative Instructions


Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place.  Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not being controlled.  If active bleeding persists after one hour, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 30-60 minutes.  The gauze may be changed as necessary and may be dampened and/or fluffed for more comfortable positioning.


DO NOT RINSE, SPIT, or SUCK FROM A STRAW TODAY.  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 SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since it is very detrimental to healing.


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


Bleeding should never be severe.  If it is, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between your teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical areas.  Try repositioning fresh packs.  If bleeding persists or becomes heavy you may substitute a tea bag (soaked in hot water, squeezed damp-dry and wrapped in a moist gauze) for 20-30 minutes.  If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.


Often there is some swelling associated with oral surgery.  You can minimize this 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 12 to 24 hours after surgery.  After 24 hours, it is usually best to switch from ice to moist heat to the same areas.


The first 6 hours after surgery generally has the most discomfort.  Start with one pain pill before the numbness wears off, and drink a half of glass of water with the pain pill.  If you start to feel mild discomfort 2 to 5 hours after the first pain pill, take another pill with water.  Some patients may need to take two pain pills every four hours, if needed to control the discomfort.  If one pain pill feels too strong, cut it in half and take with water. 


Nausea is not an uncommon event after surgery, and it is sometimes caused by pain medicines.  Nausea may be reduced by preceding each pill with a small amount of water, then taking the pill with a half glass of water.  Try to keep taking clear fluids, but call us if you do not feel better or if repeated vomiting is a problem.  Cola drinks without carbonation and apple juice may reduce nausea.


Do not eat until you feel hungry.  Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort.  Temperature of the food doesn’t matter, but avoid extremely hot foods.  It is sometimes advisable, but not required, to confine the first day’s intake to bland liquids or pureed foods (creamed soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.).  Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, ect., that may get lodged in the socket area.  Over the next several days you can progress to solid foods at your own pace.  It is important not to skip meals!  If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster.  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 with your tongue 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 not pieces of tooth and, if necessary, we will remove them.  Please call the office if you are concerned.



Keeping your 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.  DO NOT use commercial mouthwash since it has too much alcohol and may burn your fresh wounds.


Begin your normal oral hygiene routine on day two.  Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing of all areas, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.


Apply warm compresses to the skin overlying areas of swelling (hot water bottle or moist hot towels) for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to help soothe those tender areas.  This will also help decrease swelling and stiffness.

**If you have any question or concerns regarding your post-operative care please call the office. 


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