Post-Op Instructions Following Oral Surgery and Implant Surgery

  1. GAUZE: For the first 30 minutes, keep the gauze that was placed over the surgical site and then remove it. If there is still active bleeding, replace it with a fresh rolled up gauze and bite down gently but firmly for another 30-45 minutes. Make sure the gauze is over the surgical site and not just held between the teeth. This helps a blood clot to form in the socket. Repeat every 30-45 minutes as necessary until bleeding is minimal. You may see the blood tinged saliva for a day or two. This is normal and is no cause for alarm. If bleeding persists, see #6.
  2. DIET: You may eat as soon as possible when you get home, being careful if an area of the mouth is still numb. Drink plenty of fluids and maintain good nutrition with soft foods the first 2-3 days. (Scrambled eggs, yogurt soups, apple sauce, anything pureed, etc.). It is best to avoid very hot foods and crunch foods like nuts or chips during this time as they may get lodged in the sockets. If you are a diabetic, it is especially important to maintain your usual intake. (DO NOT USE STRAWS FOR 2 WEEKS).
  3. MEDICATIONS: Most oral surgery is accompanied by some level of discomfort. If prescriptions were issued, use according to directions. For pain, we generally like to give, 1 Aleve and 3 regular strength Tylenol every 12 hours. Repeat this regimen for 3 days.
  4. SWELLING: Post- operative swelling is a normal part of healing and if significant tends to peak 2 days after surgery. If you were instructed to apply ice to your cheek, apply ice for 20 minutes break and repeat for the first 24 hours only. (DO NOT APPLY ICE WHEN SLEEPING.) Propping yourself up with a few pillows for the first 2 nights may also help reduce facial swelling. (Applying ice beyond the recommended time could delay normal healing. Do not apply ice if the swelling you have is due to an infection).
  5. ORAL HYGIENE: Do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours. Thereafter, you may brush in the non-surgical area and rinse your mouth gently 4 x a day (after meals and at bedtime) for one week. A traditional rinse is a salt water solution (1⁄2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. warm water) but the cleansing is more important than the solution being used.
  6. BLEEDING: Some bleeding after surgery is normal. If bleeding persists in spite of following the above instructions, try the following, keep the head elevated and roll a moist tea bag instead of gauze. Place it over the socket and bite down gently, undisturbed for 30-45 minutes. If bleeding persists, call the office.
  7. SMOKING: Smoking causes irritation and delays normal healing. Please do not smoke for 3-5 days after extraction.
  8. DRY SOCKET: Healing can be delayed if the blood clot filling the socket dissolves or is washed away, exposing the bone. This may lead to a constant, deep or throbbing pain which can be easily treated with a medicated dressing. “DRY SOCKETS” generally occur 3-5 days after an extraction. If you suspect you have a dry socket, call the office so we can assist you.
  9. BONE SPUR: Occasionally, after surgery, small edges of bone may become exposed. Usually they are unattached, if these occur please call the office and make an appointment for their simple removal. Most bone spicules will come out on their own.

Any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. De la Rosa at 973-204-5378