Post Surgical Care
These generic instructions apply to most surgical procedures completed in our office. Individual instructions based on specific procedures will be given orally and as a print out. These instructions are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situations that may require special attention.
Pain and Pain Medications
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.
As an alternative to prescription medications, a combination of over the counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol can be effective. You may take the combination in either of the following dosages: 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol or 2 Advil Liqui-Gels and 1 Extra Strength Tylenol, every 4-6 hours as needed.
Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, 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.
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.
Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure 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.
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 moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes, repeat if necessary.
- Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes along the area of the bleeding.
- Call the office if bleeding persists.
Do not rinse for the first 24 hours. After that, you may use the prescribed mouthwash or warm salt water.
Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.
You may notice increased discomfort for 3 – 4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the stitches. 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, please take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.***
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.
Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.
Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.