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Post Operative Care Instructions


  1. Following surgery, bleeding is normal for up to 24 hours. You may be numb for up to 18 hours following surgery. This is normal.
  2. Gauze will be placed at the surgery site before you leave the office and should be left in for the first hour. You may then change the gauze every hour using two or three gauze folded and moistened with cold water until the gauze are just slightly pink in color. You should be able to stop the gauze within 3-4 hours.
  3. Do not spit, rinse or use straws for 24 hours after surgery.
  4. Swelling is worse the first day after surgery and can last up to seven to fourteen days. You may use ice packs on the area periodically the first day of surgery to minimize swelling. It will usually subside after three days. It is normal to experience pain following most oral surgery.
  5. Do not ingest pain medication on an empty stomach. You may alternate the pain medication with ibuprofen to decrease the pain and swelling. (See Post Op Pain Management protocol below.)
  6. You may rinse with warm salt water rinses three times daily for 2-4 weeks after the initial 24 hours period. Do not use hydrogen peroxide or mouthwash containing alcohol (i.e. Listerine, Scope, Etc.) for 10 days following surgery.
  7. Use a soft toothbrush in the area starting the second post operative day. You may also receive a small plastic syringe to keep the socket clean. Fill with warm water, point into the socket and gently irrigate. DO NOT USE UNTIL THE FOURTH DAY AFTER SURGERY.
  8. If you have been sedated you may have some warm soup broth upon arriving home and progress to foods such as mashed potatoes, puddings, Jell-o, cooked cereals. You can eat foods such as pasta as early as eight hours after surgery. You can follow these guidelines for 3 days.
  9. All patients should avoid hard or sharp foods, such as nuts, chips and seeds for at least two weeks. For patients who have had local anesthesia it is suggested you follow a soft diet for 24 hours and then resume you regular diet minus sharp or hard foods.
  10. You may be given a follow up appointment to check the progress of healing, look for signs of infection, etc. It is important that you keep this appointment.