Pre & Post Operation Instructions

Pre-Operative Instructions

  • You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for 8 hours before the appointment. For morning surgery, no food or liquids after midnight the night before surgery.
  • No smoking at least 12 hours before surgery. Ideally, cut down or stop smoking as soon as possible prior to the day of surgery.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home.
  • Plan to rest for the remainder of the surgery day. The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
  • Please wear loose-fitting clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up past the elbow and low-heeled shoes.
  • You must remove contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures at the time of surgery.
  • Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, or stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
  • If you take routine oral medications, please check with your doctor before your surgical date for instructions.
  • The use of alcohol or recreational drugs can adversely affect the anesthesia medications that we use. Please discontinue the use of such for at least 72 hours before your procedure.
  • If your doctor prescribed you medications, please follow the instructions for their use closely.

Women, please note: Some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Please check with your pharmacist.



Post-Operative Instructions

Extensive oral surgery is comparable to extensive surgery in other body areas. It is expected that a small percentage of people may encounter some complications in healing. In the case of extreme pain, uncontrolled bleeding, or any unusual disturbance of emergency nature, be sure to have followed these instructions, then call the office to secure further instructions.


BLEEDING: Remove the gauze from your mouth upon reaching home or 1 hour following treatment. Slight oozing may occur for several days. Spitting makes bleeding worse. If bleeding is a problem, take the following steps.

  • Rinse mouth thoroughly.
  • Place a folded piece of sterile gauze or a tea bag over the bleeding area and bite down for 1 hour. Repeat if necessary. The gauze should be thick enough to prevent teeth from coming together — all pressure should be upon the bleeding area.
  • Keep your head elevated above chest level with several pillows.
  • Apply ice bag continuously.
  • Try not to spit, chew, or talk for 1 hour.

PAIN: If you received a prescription for pain medication, take it as needed with food. If pain is only minimal, take 2 Tylenol®, ibuprofen, or aspirin as needed every 3–4 hours.

SWELLING: The swelling that is normally expected after oral surgery can be minimized by immediate use of an ice pack. Place ice pack on the outside of the face over the surgical area, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Use ice for 24 hours. Thereafter, apply heat.

BRUISING: Do not be alarmed if a yellowish-blue-black discoloration appears on your face after surgery. It may take a week or more to fade away.

MOUTH RINSING: Rinse your mouth very gently on the day of surgery with warm salt water (½ teaspoon of salt to a glass). Rinse 3 or 4 times daily, especially after meals, for the next 7 days.

DIET: Eat as soon as possible after surgery. Eating helps reduce nausea. Nausea is a frequent side effect of a general anesthetic. Have light, soft foods, such as eggs, cereal, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and milkshakes, and plenty of liquids. Avoid a diet of liquids only. Brush your teeth in the usual manner, being careful around extraction sites. Do not use straws. Avoid a diet of liquids only.

BONE SPICULES: Following removal of teeth, loose pieces of bone often work their way through the gums. This may be uncomfortable. Should this occur, call our office.

NUMBNESS: The roots of lower wisdom teeth (third molar teeth) may rest directly over the nerve to your lip. Because of this, you may experience numbness or tingling of your lower lip or tongue. This is temporary and may last from a few days to several months.

SMOKING: Smoking will aggravate bleeding and inhibit healing. Please refrain for at least 48 hours. (Better yet, quit!)

IMPACTED TEETH: Following removal of impacted teeth, most patients have discomfort and swelling for several days. There will be a hole in your gum after surgery. If sores develop at the corners of your mouth, apply Vaseline®. If you develop a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water. Rinse your mouth to keep it clean, and resume normal brushing, exercising care near the extraction sites. You may experience an earache, and your other teeth may ache for a few days.

It is common to have difficulty opening your mouth. To hasten normal opening, apply heat to the sides of your face, and massage the muscles of your jaw and the temple regions. Next, crisscross your thumb against your upper teeth and your finger against the lower teeth and stretch your mouth open gently but with constant pressure. You may need to do this 6–10 times a day for the first 2–3 days. Hold the mouth in the open position for 1 minute when stretching.

Call this office if you are in doubt about anything or if you develop severe pain, persistent fever, bodily illness, or any other unusual disturbance.


If a post-operative appointment is necessary, please return to our office.

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