Post-Surgical Instructions

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Sedation

Do not plan to do anything today except rest at home if you have taken a sedative pill. It will take a few hours for the drowsiness produced by the sedation to wear off. You may need assistance when walking from room to room for the remainder of the day.

Foods

  • Entire day of surgery: cold food and drink only! Ice cream, shakes, pudding, yogurt. Do not drink any sodas or acidic fruit juices. No straw for the next 2-3 days!
  • Entire day after surgery: it is highly recommended a liquid cold diet (Ensure, Slim Fast, Milk shakes, Jell-O, Ice- cream, pudding, yogurt)
  • 3rd day until 2 weeks after surgery: A very soft food diet should only be eaten (Pasta, soups, eggs, fish, cooked soft vegetables, oatmeal, rice, beans etc.) Avoid any hard, spicy, crusty, coffee or acidic foods. Chewing should be done on the side opposite the surgical site.

Medications

  • Antibiotics: take as directed on the bottle until all are gone. If rash or nausea occurs, call office immediately.
  • Vicodin (hydrocodone): take as directed for discomfort. To avoid nausea, make sure you have eaten adequately prior to taking medication.
  • Sudafed (decongestant): take as directed to keep sinus cavity clear while healing occurs.
  • Afrin nasal spray (sinus lubricant): use in each nostril as directed to keep sinus cavity lubricated while healing occurs.

Nausea

Sometimes common when taking any medication or having sedation. It can usually be prevented by ensuring you eat frequently. If nausea is a problem, slowly eat saltine crackers and sip Coca-Cola Classic over ice at frequent intervals. Coke works faster than Sprite or 7-up.

Facial Compresses

  • Day of surgery— ice only! 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the remainder of the day. Do not sleep overnight with ice pack on.
  • Day after surgery— wet heat only! 20 minutes every 2 hours throughout the day or when you get home from work at night. Wet, steamy washcloth works well, and can be re-heated in microwave or crockpot full of water.

Should you have any bad discomfort or swelling, continue warm compresses as much as possible until you notice a significant improvement.

Bleeding

Expect some “oozing” for 24 hours. Swallow on a regular basis to prevent a buildup of saliva in your mouth. No rinsing, spitting, swishing or cleansing for 24 hours! This will cause bleeding to continue or worsen. If bleeding seems excessive, hold ice chips in mouth letting them melt and swallow liquid. Do not spit—this will worsen the bleeding! Or place a moist tea bag over the area and bite down on bag for 30 minutes.

Head Elevation

Elevate head while resting in bed for the next 3 days. Usually 2 pillow is sufficient, as long as your head is higher than your body. This works well in reducing or eliminating swelling.

Specific Procedures

Osseous surgery: begin day AFTER surgery

  • brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth with the toothbrush and the sensitivity toothpaste provided.
  • medicated rinse: swish with 1teaspoon 2 x day until the doctor advises you to discontinue.

NOTE: When brushing, use a rolling motion. Never brush up and down or side-to-side. On the upper teeth, place bristles in the fold of the lip and cheek and roll brush down over the gums toward teeth. On the lower teeth, place bristles in the fold of the lip or cheek, and roll brush up over the gums and teeth. Begin flossing gently on day 5.

Gingival Grafts: starting the day AFTER surgery

Brush the chewing surfaces only with the toothbrush and toothpaste provided. Do not brush the surgery sites! At least 2 times day, use medicated mouthrinse. Swish with 1 teaspoon 2 x day until the doctor advises you to discontinue. If a small amount of bleeding occurs, do not be concerned. Do not floss in these areas!

NOTE: There may be a plastic protective putty in the roof of your mouth over your incision. This can come loose at any time. Let it fall out naturally as it is entangled with your sutures. Removing it by force can cause excessive bleeding and discomfort.

Extraction with bone grafting: starting the day AFTER surgery

  • brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth with the toothbrush and the toothpaste provided.
  • medicated rinse: swish with 1 teaspoon 2 x day until the doctor advises you to discontinue.

Sinus Elevations: starting day AFTER surgery

  • brush normally throughout—avoiding surgery sites—with new toothbrush and toothpaste provided.
  • medicated rinse: swish with 1 teaspoon 2 x day until the doctor advises you to discontinue

Do not blow nose for 7-10 days
Do not sneeze with mouth closed for 7-10 days
Do not drink with straw for 7-10 days
Do not smoke for 7-10 days

Implants: starting day AFTER surgery

  • brush normally throughout—avoiding surgery sites—with new toothbrush and toothpaste provided.
  • medicated rinse: swish with 1 teaspoon 2 x day until the doctor advises you to discontinue.

For All Surgical Procedures

  • Day after surgery: Rinsing with warm salt water several times a day will help gum tissue feel better and ensures adequate bathing of surgical sites!
  • Do not smoke for at least 3 days after surgery—nicotine irritates the tissue, causes greater discomfort and can cause procedure to fail!
  • Do not pull or tug on sutures
    • if your sutures are bright white, we will have to remove them at your next appointment-do not trim!
    • if your sutures are clear or brown, they will start to melt away in 1-2 weeks (if you find long strands, trim them shorter, but let the remainder come out naturally).

Pre-surgical Instructions

Click here to view our pre-surgical instructions.