Pre/Post Operative Instructions- The Oral Surgery Group

Surgical Instructions

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Pre-Operative Instructions for Intravenous Anesthesia

Preoperative Instructions for Patients Undergoing Intravenous Anesthesia
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the appointment.
  • Take prescribed medication before surgery with small sips of water unless instructed otherwise.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing with short sleeves or sleeves that can be rolled above the elbow.Jewelry and dentures will be removed at the time of surgery.Wear low-heeled shoes with support to assist you in walking after you recover from the anesthesia. Open-backed shoes are not recommended.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and be able to drive the patient home. Most surgeries take less than an hour but expect to be in the office for approximately two hours until recovery is complete.

Post-Operative Surgery Instructions

To our oral surgery patients: These post-operative instructions are meant to answer some of the questions you might have following your oral surgery. If you have any additional questions or problems, please do not hesitate to call the office.

General Post-Operative Instructions: The First 24 Hours

Patients who have been given a general anesthetic may expect some effects of the anesthesia to last up to 24 hours. Procedures requiring alertness such as driving a car or operating machinery should be avoided the day of surgery.

DO NOT RINSE OR SPIT VIGOROUSLY FOR 24 HOURS AFTER SURGERY. You may have been given a prescription mouth rinse that can be used the evening of your surgery. Keep fingers and tongue away from the socket or surgical site.

Immediately following the surgery keep a steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze placed by your doctor. Gauze pressure directly over the extraction site helps reduce bleeding and permits formation of a clot in the tooth socket. Gently change the gauze every 30-45 minutes until there is no visible bleeding from the extraction site. The gauze may need to be changed a few times. If bleeding persists, a moist tea bag can be placed over the surgical site. The tannic acid in the tea will help control the bleeding. After the bleeding has stopped, cautiously resume oral hygiene. GAUZE SHOULD NOT BE LEFT IN THE MOUTH OVERNIGHT OR WHILE EATING!

DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINERY WHILE TAKING PRESCRIBED NARCOTICS. Expect some discomfort following surgery. Immediately following the procedure, begin taking medication as directed by your doctor in order to minimize discomfort when the numbness wears off. For mild discomfort take Tylenol or ibuprofen in place of your prescription. For moderate discomfort use the pain medication given to you by your doctor. PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATION SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH AS IT MAY CAUSE NAUSEA.

Due to changes in Federal Regulations, prescriptions for many common narcotic pain medications can no longer be placed or renewed over the telephone. All prescriptions or refills for narcotics must now be in written form and picked up from our office during normal business hours.

Some swelling and discoloration of the face may be expected. Do not be alarmed by this normal reaction of the tissues. Swelling peaks on the second or third post-operative day and then gradually starts to resolve. You may have been given instructions to use an ice pack or to use bags with crushed ice on the affected area for the first 24 hours. If you wrap the ice with a thin, soft cloth (i.e. t-shirt material), you may leave the ice on the affected area continuously. If using unwrapped ice, you may leave the bag on the affected area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. The ice will help prevent development of excessive swelling and discomfort. If you lie down, keep your head elevated higher than your heart. The disposable cold packs should be discarded if leaking of chemical occurs.

Do not chew until the numbness is gone. Eat only soft foods that are cold or room temperature NOTHING HOT! Foods suggested immediately following your visit include milk shakes, ice cream, yogurt, cold applesauce, soft drinks, powdered food supplements, etc. DO NOT USE A STRAW!

General Post-Operative Instructions: After The First 24 Hours

Twenty-four hours after the surgery, rinse your mouth gently with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water. Repeat frequently until soreness is no longer present. You may have been given a prescription for an antibacterial rinse (Peridex or Periogard). Use as directed along with the warm salt water rinse. Rinsing is important as it removes food particles and debris from the socket area or surgical site, thus helping to prevent infection and promote healing. You may brush your teeth but brush carefully around the extraction site. Brush your tongue to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. Remember that the cleaner you keep your mouth, the faster and better you will heal. In addition, DO NOT SMOKE for at least 1-2 days after surgery. Nicotine may break down the blood clot and cause a dry socket.

The swelling may slowly increase until the third day, then it should slowly decrease. DO NOT USE ICE AFTER THE FIRST 24 HOURS!

Have your meals at the usual time. Eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids. Diet should consist of soft foods which can be easily chewed. Do not eat seeds, nuts, popcorn, rice, etc. Gradually resume normal diet as tolerated.

Absorbable or dissolving sutures are generally used. If a nonabsorbable suture has been used, you will be given a return appointment.


Do not chew until the numbness is gone. Eat only soft foods that are cold or room temperature NOTHING HOT! Foods suggested immediately following your visit include milk shakes, ice cream, yogurt, cold applesauce, soft drinks, powdered food supplements, etc. DO NOT USE A STRAW!

Impacted or unerupted teeth

  • Removal of impacted teeth is a surgical procedure, and extra care must be taken to avoid complications.
  • Severity of post-operative pain will depend on the procedure and your own physical condition. Take medication for pain as directed by your doctor.
  • Trismus (stiffness), difficulty in opening your mouth widely, and discomfort upon swallowing should be anticipated.
  • Your other teeth may temporarily ache. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
  • Numbness of the lips, tongue or chin on the affected side may occur for a variable period of time. Notify the office if the numbness persists more than several days.
  • There may be a slight elevation in temperature for 24-48 hours. If elevated temperature continues, please notify our office.
  • It is not unusual to develop bruising in the extraction area.

If you have been given an irrigating syringe, please start using the syringe on the third day following your surgery. Fill the syringe with warm water and gently irrigate the extraction sites.

Common Post-Operative Problems Associated With Oral Surgery

A dry socket simply means that your body, for some unknown reason, has not maintained the clot that normally fills the socket and protects it. Pain, where your tooth was removed, that radiates into your ear and causes an earache 2-5 days after removal of teeth usually indicates a dry socket. This condition is painful when left untreated, but periodic dressings placed by the doctor can keep you comfortable until the socket heals. The period of time and number of dressings placed vary with each patient. The fact that you have a dry socket does not change the final healed result.

If the doctor informs you that you have a sinus opening, it means that there is presently an opening from the inside of your mouth through the tooth socket into the sinus. The following instructions have been designed to encourage healing and closure of this opening:
  • Fill the prescriptions you have been given and diligently follow the instructions on the label.
  • Avoid blowing or sucking actions such as blowing your nose or using a straw. The healing tissue between the sinus and mouth is easily disturbed by sudden pressure changes. If you must sneeze, keep your mouth open and do not pinch the nostrils shut or try to hold back a sneeze.
  • Some bleeding may occur through the nose during the first week. This is not cause for alarm.
  • You may notice during the healing period that a small amount of any liquid you drink escapes through your nose. Also, there may be a slight alteration in the character of your voice and, occasionally, a sensation of air entering the sinus. If these symptoms occur, please contact our office.
  • Smoking is irritating to the sinus and should be avoided for at least 3 days.

If you experience a bad taste in your mouth, notice yellow or white drainage (pus) from the tooth socket, or develop swelling in the cheek or under the jaw 1-4 weeks after surgery, please call the office Phone Number 260-423-2340.

Loose fragments of bone may work free from the surgical site after surgery. If this occurs, please call for an appointment.

You may have been given a prescription for an antibacterial rinse. Use as directed along with the warm salt water rinse.
  • Proper oral hygiene is critical for a successful implant.
  • Do not brush the implant site for at least 48 hours after surgery. Avoid flossing around the implant until the permanent restoration has been placed.
  • Do not chew or put any other type of pressure on the dental implant area immediately after surgery.
  • Your immediate denture needs to stay in place to protect the surgical area, control bleeding and control swelling.
  • Do not remove your immediate denture from your mouth for 24 hours after your surgery. Removing your denture may allow swelling to occur. Replacing the denture may then be difficult or impossible until the swelling subsides.
  • You will usually see your dentist 24-48 hours after surgery for a post-operative denture check. Your dentist will discuss care of your mouth and your denture.

Meet our friendly oral surgeons at a location convenient to you, today!

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