Post-Operative Instructions for Specific Procedures are here:
GENERAL POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS
Sometimes the “after-effects” of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all of these instructions may apply. Common sense will
often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification. Our
PLEASE NOTE: Telephone requests for narcotic (pain killer) prescriptions renewal are ONLY accepted during regular office hours.
DAY OF SURGERY:
FIRST HOUR: 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 saturates the gauze. The packs may be gently
removed after one hour if bleeding has stopped. If active bleeding persists, fold several pieces of gauze into a tight square and
place directly over the surgical wounds. The gauze may subsequently be changed as necessary (typically every 30 to 45
minutes). It is best to moisten the gauze slightly prior to placement to avoid having the gauze stick to the wounds.
HYGIENE: Do not disturb the surgical area today. Do NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects. You may brush
your teeth gently. PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE. Smoking is detrimental to the healing process and will increase the risk of dry
socket, postoperative pain and delayed healing.
OOZING: Intermittent bleeding or oozing is normal during the healing process as the “healing” tissue is very vascular. This is
most common after eating or brushing. Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the areas and biting on the
gauze for 30-45 minutes at a time. If bleeding persists, call the office.
PERSISTENT BLEEDING: Bleeding should never be severe. If so, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between
teeth only and are not exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try repositioning the packs. If bleeding persists or becomes
heavy you may substitute a tea bag (soaked in very hot water, squeezed damp-dry and wrapped in moist gauze) for 20 or 30
minutes. If bleeding persists, please call our office.
SWELLING: Swelling is expected after oral surgery. It is the body’s normal response to “injury” even controlled injury such as
surgery and is the beginning of the healing process. It is the result of increased blood flow to an area the body recognizes as
needing attention. Swelling will increase over the first 48-72 hours and subside over the next 5-7 days. It can be minimized by
placing a cold pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel on the skin directly adjacent to the surgical sites. This
should be applied twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Keeping the head
elevated for the first 72 hours using pillows under the back and head while sleeping.
PAIN: Unfortunately, most surgical procedures have potential to cause varying degrees of discomfort. Fortunately, this
discomfort is less than anticipated for most persons undergoing oral surgery. There are several reasons for this. During surgery,
most persons will receive medications which minimize swelling, inflammation and pain at the surgical sites. At the completion of
surgery an long acting local anesthetic is infiltrated to control pain. Pain is best kept under control by starting prescribed
medications prior to the numbness wearing off.
NAUSEA: Nausea is not uncommon after surgery. This can be related to sedation, pain medication, NSAIDS, swallowing blood,
anxiety etc. Nausea can usually be controlled by preceding each pain pill with anti-nausea medications small amount of soft
food, and taking the pill with a large volume of water. Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize dosing of pain medications,
but call us if you do not feel better. Classic Coca Cola may help with nausea.
DIET: Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. It is best to avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn,
etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods. If you
are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.
SHARP EDGES: If you feel something hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling the bony walls which
once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or
so. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.
SECOND AND THIRD DAYS:
MOUTH RINSES: Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. You may drink, but do not rinse for the first 12 hours
following surgery. After 12 hours, gently rinse the hole/cavity with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce
glass of warm water) using a plastic irrigation syringe. Repeat after every meal, before going to bed and upon waking.
Continue to use it daily until you are certain the hole/cavity has closed completely and that there is no chance of any food
particles lodging in the socket. The cavity will gradually fill in with new tissue over the next month.
BRUSHING: You may brush your teeth the day after surgery, being careful in the areas where surgery was performed.
Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of
SUTURES: If sutures were placed, they will dissolve by themselves unless you were specifically told that non-dissolvable
sutures were used. Sutures may loosen or come out prior to your next appointment (if required).
HEALING: Normal healing after tooth extraction should be as follows: The first two days after surgery are generally the most
uncomfortable and there is usually some swelling. On the third day you should be more comfortable and, although still swollen,
can usually begin a more substantial diet. The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement.
If you don’t see continued improvement, please call our office.
OTHER COMPLICATIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS:
- If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. as stated before surgery, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be careful to avoid biting your lip or tongue as it will be numb and you will not feel any sensation. Call Dr. Schock if you have any questions.
- A slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office.
- You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. Taking pain medications can make you dizzy. You
could get light headed when you suddenly stand up. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute and then get up.
- Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. These are not roots; they are the bony
walls, which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously, if not, they can be removed by
- If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. These areas should be kept moist with an
ointment such as Vaseline or Chapstick.
- Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles become swollen, the normal act of swallowing
can then become painful. This will subside in two to three days.
- Stiffness (trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is
a normal post-operative event that will resolve in time.
- A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical
site and even pain to the ear may occur two to three days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs.
- If an immediate denture was placed following your surgery, do not remove it unless the bleeding is severe. Expect blood
to ooze around the side of the denture. Try not to swallow the blood, lean over the sink or a bowl and gently spit the
blood out. If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your dentist will see you
within 24-48 hours after surgery and make the necessary adjustments to relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may
result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.
- Drink plenty of fluids. If many teeth have been extracted, the blood lost at this time needs to be replaced. Drink at least
six glasses of liquid the first day.
- It is normal for it to take several days to feel that you can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding,
severe pain, or a reaction to the medication, call the office immediately at (541) 382-7981.
WITHIN THE 24 HOUR PERIOD FOLLOWING IV SEDATION AND/OR WHILE YOU ARE TAKING PRESCRIPTION PAIN
MEDICATION: DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE ANY MACHINERY. DO NOT DRINK ANY ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. DO NOT
TRAVEL ALONE. DO NOT SIGN ANY LEGAL DOCUMENTS. DO NOT TAKE FULL CHARGE OF ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL.
If you have any questions about your surgical procedure or your recovery from surgery, please contact (541) 382-7981.