Pre-op and Post-op Instructions

Pre-Sedation Information and Instructions

  • During surgery the patients heart and blood pressure will be continually monitored by means of an EKG & blood pressure machine.
  • Sedation is given intravenously. To prevent nausea during sedation for oral surgery procedures, it is important to keep your stomach empty.Therefore, please follow these instructions:
    Discontinue all solid food and liquids (including water) 8 hours prior to surgical appointment.
  • Wear comfortable clothing with loose-fitting short sleeve shirt. Please wear your hair down, i.e. no braids, no ponytails, no hairclips and remove nail polish.
  • You must have a driver, age 18 or older, bring you and STAY in the office during your surgery. Also you must have a responsible adult stay with you for at least 24 hours following surgery.
  • Do not drive or attempt to operate mechanical equipment for at least 24 hours following surgery or while taking prescribed medication for pain relief.
  • Please continue taking all daily medication as you normally do – unless otherwise directed.

Instructions for Home Care After Oral Surgery

The length of time required to get over the sleepy feeling varies greatly with each individual, so just lie down and sleep and rest as long as needed after you reach home. You will need assistance. Have someone help you when you first try to get up and move around because you may be much more dizzy and unstable than you realize.


  1. FIRST: Remove and discard gauze from mouth in 45 minutes. A pain pill should be taken at this time, if prescribed, and a second gauze then placed over the extraction site. There should be no spitting as this may disturb the operative wound and cause irritation, infection, or start additional bleeding.
  2. BLEEDING: Bleeding following extraction of teeth and other oral surgery is to be expected. An ooze may continue for 24 hours. For excessive bleeding wipe the mouth to remove any blood clots, place a sterile gauze pad or a dampened tea bag over the socket and bite firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat this until the bleeding stops. Sleep on several pillows and in a slightly upright position for the first few nights. Do not overexert as this may cause bleeding, as well as produce throbbing pain.
  3. PAIN: For pain use your prescription as directed. If you have not received a prescription, use a non aspirin analgesic for relief of mild discomfort. If your prescription makes you ill or dizzy, stop taking it and call this office. Your other teeth may ache temporarily and you may develop a sore throat and a slight earache. This is referred to as a sympathetic pain and is a temporary condition.
  4. DIET: Soft foods and liquids are advisable for the first 24 hours. Some examples are: mashed potatoes, pasta, eggs, fish, protein shakes, fruit smoothies and vegetables. For the first 24 hours after surgery do not use a straw or eat hot foods or drinks. Nausea is not uncommon after surgery. Gatorade or ice chips in the mouth can help settle a stomach, but usually nausea will go away on its own.
  5. MOUTHRINSE: There may be an opening or cavity where the surgery was performed. This area will gradually fill in with new tissue. After the first 24 hours, rinse these areas thoroughly after every meal with a warm salt water solution made by placing a ½ teaspoon of table salt in a large glass of water. Perform these salt water rinses 2-3 times daily for 1 week. Please avoid using all commercial mouthwash for the first 10-14 days. Rinse with the above salt water solution as directed above. Do not neglect to brush any remaining teeth.
  6. SWELLING: Post-operative swelling will usually increase for the first 3 days. An ice bag should be applied to the face directly over the site of the wound for the first 24 hours after surgery to minimize swelling. At 30 minute intervals the ice bag should be removed for 30 minutes and then reapplied.
  7. STIFFNESS: Trisums or tightness of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth. This usually relaxes by the 4th to 6th day.
  8. DISCOLORATION: The bruised appearance of the face and neck following surgery is caused by the seepage of blood into the tissues. It will gradually disappear in 7 to 10 days.
  9. SUTURES: Do not worry about the stitches which may have been used in your mouth. These will dissolve on their own in 5 to 7 days unless otherwise directed.
  10. TEMPERATURE: There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours following surgery. If the temperature is over 100°F or continues for longer than 48 hours, notify the office.
  11. NUMBNESS: Numbness may develop in the area of the lower lip and gum on the side of the surgery. This is called “parasthesia” and is most often a temporary condition which will usually correct itself. It is an unavoidable situation that may continue for a few days, weeks or months. In rare instances it may be permanent.
  12. BONE FRAGMENTS: Sometimes during the healing process, several sharp pieces of bone may work up through the gums. These will usually come out on their own. If annoying, please call the office.
  13. DRY SOCKET: If, after the second or third day, there is increasingly severe pain in the area of surgery, you may have lost the blood clot. Please call the office for treatment.
  14. POST OPERATIVE ABSCESS: In some instances, 3 to 6 weeks after surgery, a sudden painless swelling may develop over or near the operative area. Do not be alarmed. If this occurs, please call the office for an appointment.

In all surgical operations, it is important that you follow our post operative instructions. If you have been given an appointment for a post-operative visit, it is important that you return to the office at that time.

Be assured that our interest in you does not cease with the completion of surgery. If any difficulty develops, telephone the office for advice. If at all possible, telephone the office at 8:00 a.m. so that your problem can be taken care of early in the day.