Post-Operative Care

General Care

  1. Avoid strenuous physical activity, disturbing the surgical site and smoking for the first 48 hours following surgery. (Refrain from smoking during the entire healing period).
  2. Start the prescribed medications immediately and avoid all alcoholic beverages.
  3. The pain medications prescribed for you may cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive and perform delicate tasks.
  4. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during the healing process and begin a complete. A soft diet and avoid hot and spicy foods.
  5. Apply cold compresses to the surgical side of your face intermittently during the first 24 hours. Twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off for 2-3 hours. The second day after surgery intermittently apply a warm compress either a heating pad or a warm wash-cloth intermittently 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 2-3 hours.
  6. With all surgeries, an essential part of healing is clot formation. To ensure proper clot formation, do not rinse, spit, or drink through a straw for 24 hours.

Detailed Care

  1. Surgical Dressing: If a surgical dressing was placed in your mouth following surgery, care must be taken not to disturb it during healing. Do not rub your face in the surgery area; do not “play” with the dressing with your tongue. If the entire dressing should break off, or if it should feel loose and uncomfortable, please call your doctor. If it does not break off, it may be brushed on the 3rd day following surgery as described below. If sutures were placed, do not disturb. They will begin to dissolve in approximately 1-3 weeks (depending on suture type).
  2. If you have a removable bridge/denture and it has been seated over the dressing, DO NOT remove it for 72 hours. Only then, remove it carefully to clean. Then lubricate the part that touches the dressing with Vaseline and reseat.
  3. Brushing and Flossing: On the day following surgery, flossing and brushing of the teeth not involved in the surgery should be started. Do not brush or floss the dressing. Do not brush the area where the surgery was performed for 3 days. Gentle rinsing mouth with warm saltwater (2 to 5 times a day for 7-10 days) after the first 24 hours will aid the healing process, and help keep the mouth clean. Starting on the 3rd day after surgery, surgical site may be gently brushed with an extra soft toothbrush after dipping brush in PERIOGUARD/PERIDEX. With remaining solution, rinse (twice/day, a.m. and p.m.) only for 30 seconds for 7-10days or as directed by doctor or surgical assistants.
  4. Discomfort: Following surgery, the following may occur and is considered normal: slight earache, sore throat, numbness or cuts around corners of the mouth, bruising, temperature sensitivity and/or pain at surgical site and/or adjacent teeth. If necessary, you can lubricate the corners of your mouth with Vaseline. If pain persists for a prolonged period of time (5 days or more), please contact your doctor.
  5. Swelling: A slight amount of swelling and discomfort (up to 3 days) is not unusual following most oral surgery and usually disappears after 4 days. The use of cold compresses gently applied to the area of surgery for 5-10 minutes on and 5-10 minutes off (during the first 24 hours) will help to control the post-operative swelling and discomfort. Following the first 24 hours, apply moist heat (warm washcloth or hot-water bottle). If swelling persists after 3 days, call your doctor.
  6. Bleeding: Some bleeding or oozing may discolor your saliva for several hours. This is normal. Usually, the surgical dressing is sufficient to control the bleeding tendency. Oozing may be controlled with ice cold water held (not rinsed) over the dressing for a few minutes. If the bleeding is excessive, like a nose bleed, for more than 5 minutes, or slight but continuous bleeding over a long period of time, discontinue any rinsing, avoid exertion, and call your doctor.
  7. Fever: Slight body temperature elevation or chills may occur. It is of no consequence unless it persists more than 24 hours. A persistent low-grade temperature or one above 102 degrees should be reported.
  8. Diet: Take in adequate fluids immediately and avoid chewing on the operated area of the mouth. Soft foods can be eaten until you feel ready to return to your regular diet (at least 3 days). Eat as close to a regular diet as you can. The following require little pressure to chew and provide the necessary nutrients: bananas, cooked fish, bread, mashed potatoes, pasta. The following are soft cold foods that can be eaten during the first 24 hours: Yogurt, smoothies, Jell-O, ice cream. You should continue your usual vitamin supplements but avoid hard foods such as: nuts, popcorn, rice, sesame seeds, hard bread/chips or berries.
  9. Special Medication: If you are taking other medications prescribed by your physician, be sure to tell your periodontist and continue taking them as usual unless otherwise directed. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, narcotics and other medication(s) may be prescribed for you. Please take as directed on the label(s). If you develop hives, rash, intestinal distress or diarrhea, discontinue all recently prescribed medications and contact us immediately. Do not drive or operate mechanical equipment after taking pain medications. Do not take medications on an empty stomach (such as when waking up or at night/morning) or nausea may develop. If nausea does develop, remain on a clear liquid intake for 1-2 hours after surgery.


  1. Following Extractions, bite down firmly on gauze provided, making sure it remains in place directly over the extraction site (s). You will need to change the gauze every 30 minutes until there is only a slight pink coloration showing. Please remove gauze before eating, drinking or sleeping and then replace as needed. To replace, fold clean gauze provided, dampen and place directly on extraction site. If bleeding continues, try repositioning fresh gauze or a moistened tea bag with direct pressure on extraction site. Sit in a semi-upright position, using two pillows. If bleeding continues, without decreasing after several hours, please contact your doctor. Allow for proper clot formation.

Dental Implant & Sinus Graft

  1. Restrict diet to soft foods and avoid implant surgical area for a minimum of two weeks. If sinus graft procedure was necessary, avoid pinching nose while sneezing or creating a positive pressure in nasal or oral cavity. During first night, place towel over pillow before going to bet in the event a nasal bloody discharge occurs.