Post-Op Instructions


Post-Operative Instructions

General Guidelines for all procedures:


Avoid chewing hard foods that may damage the surgical site or cause bleeding.  Carefully follow all guidelines provided by our office, and, most importantly, practice good oral hygiene. Additional instructions following various types of treatment are listed below. Please click on the below topics for detailed instructions. In the event of an emergency please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.


  • Some pain, bleeding, and swelling are normal following oral surgery. Please do not try to view the site by pulling on your lip and do not probe the area with your tongue or fingers. If you experience excessive bleeding or discomfort after 48-72 hours, please call our office immediately.
  • You can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen according to the instructions on the label or those provided by our office as needed.
  • Swelling around the face, eyes, and surgical site is not uncommon and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. Applying a cold compress to the face near the implant site will help minimize swelling. If using an ice pack, please do not apply ice directly to your skin but place a cloth between the ice and your skin at all times.  You may apply the cold compress for up to 20 minutes on and at least 20 minutes off as needed. After 36 hours the cold compress will have no further impact on swelling.
  • A warm salt water rinse, approximately ½ teaspoon in an eight ounce glass of water, three times a day can be helpful.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth near the surgery site but brush and floss the rest of your mouth as instructed by our office.
  • For 24 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, spit, or smoke.
  • For the first 24 hours you may experience some cold and heat sensitivity. Avoid hot and spicy foods as well as carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
  • Restrict your activities on the day of your surgery. Avoid excessive work or play, and resume normal activity the following day as tolerated.
  • After the first day, gently rinse with a warm salt water rinse, approximately one-half teaspoon of salt in an eight ounce glass of water, three times a day.
  • During the first few days after surgery restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies.
  • Follow any other instructions provided by the office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed including your prescribed antibiotics to help prevent infection.
  • If you have a denture that overlaps the implant site, please minimize the use of the denture following surgery to allow the site to heal. After the first week, you should be able to gradually increase the amount of time you can wear your denture.
  • It is extremely important to keep your follow up appointment(s) so that we can monitor the healing process.
  • If pain and swelling are increasing after a few days, please call our office right away.

  • Immediately following surgery, maintain pressure on the surgical area by biting down on the provided gauze until the bleeding stops. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following a surgical procedure. Placing the gauze pad over the area and biting firmly will help prevent excessive bleeding. Replace the gauze as necessary until the bleeding stops.
  • For a few days following surgery, you may become dizzy when getting up. Sit up slowly, and give yourself a minute to adjust before getting up and walking.
  • Avoid vigorous activities for three to four days after surgery. You may go back to your normal routine as tolerated.
  • Please fill any prescriptions you have been given and take as directed. If you have been prescribed pain medication other than aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), do not drive, operate heavy equipment, work around machinery or tools, or engage in any other activity that may be unsafe when groggy, as your reflexes and judgment will be affected by the medication. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection. If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the medicine as directed.
  • Swelling and stiffness are to be expected after surgery. Swelling around the face, eyes, and surgical site is not uncommon and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. Applying a cold compress to the face near the extraction site will help minimize swelling. If using an ice pack, please do not apply ice directly to your skin but place a cloth between the ice and your skin at all times.  You may apply the cold compress for up to 20 minutes on and at least 20 minutes off as needed. After 36 hours the cold compress will have no further impact on swelling.
  • For 24-48 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, rinse, spit, or smoke. Avoid hot and spicy foods, carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
  • During the first few days after surgery, restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies.
  • Do not vigorously rinse or spit on the day of surgery. Resume brushing on the day of surgery, avoiding surgical sites with the toothbrush.
  • After brushing, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt mixed with eight ounces of warm water). Start the salt water rinse the day after surgery and repeat 3 times a day for 7-10 days. This will help keep the surgical areas clean and will also help dissolve the sutures.
  • Please do not use any irrigating syringe for the first five days. After your follow-up visit, if we have provided a syringe, fill the syringe with warm salt water and flush out the socket. This will flush out any food or debris.
  • If you are experiencing numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue, be aware that this is usually temporary in nature and normal feeling should return after a few days. Until then, please be cautious while eating and chewing in order to avoid accidentally biting your tongue, cheek or lip.
  • A dry socket can develop when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the walls of the tooth socket. Symptoms of a dry socket include throbbing pain at the surgical site, the ear, chin, adjacent teeth, and/or jaw. These symptoms may indicate a dry socket when they occur three to four days following surgery and do not respond to pain medication.

Please call our office if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding or swelling, or if you have any questions or concerns. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

  • Immediately following surgery, maintain pressure on the surgical area by biting down on the provided gauze pad or roll until the bleeding stops. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following a surgical procedure. Placing the gauze pad over the area and biting firmly will help prevent excessive bleeding. Replace the gauze as necessary until the bleeding stops.
  • Children should be supervised after having an extraction to make sure they do not bite or chew their tongue or lips as this can cause serious injury to the soft tissue.
  • Please fill any prescriptions you have been given and take as directed. If you have been prescribed pain medication other than aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), do not drive, operate heavy equipment, work around machinery or tools, or engage in any other activity that may be unsafe when groggy, as your reflexes and judgment will be affected by the medication. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection. If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the medicine as directed.
  • Swelling around the face, eyes, and surgical site is not uncommon although it may not appear until the day following the surgery and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. Applying a cold compress to the face near the extraction site will help minimize swelling. If using an ice pack, please do not apply ice directly to your skin but place a cloth between the ice and your skin at all times.  You may apply the cold compress for up to 20 minutes on and at least 20 minutes off as needed. After 36 hours the cold compress will have no further impact on swelling.
  • For 24 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, spit, or smoke. Avoid hot and spicy foods as well as carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
  • Restrict your activities on the day of your surgery. Avoid excessive work or play, and resume normal activity the following day as tolerated.
  • After the first day, gently rinse with a warm salt water rinse, approximately one-half teaspoon of salt in an eight ounce glass of water, three times a day.
  • During the first few days after surgery restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies.
  • Sutures may have been placed. Most sutures placed by our office will dissolve on their own in 7-10 days, and it may not be necessary to return to the office for sutures to be removed. If you have sutures that do need a follow-up visit for removal, we will let you know at the time they are placed.

Please call our office if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding or swelling, or if you have any questions or concerns. In the event of an emergency please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

  1. Expect throat pain and soreness of the throat to slowly resolve over the next several days.
  2. Avoid coughing or frequent clearing of the throat.  This can stimulate bleeding.  If you experience heavy bleeding, contact the doctor immediately.
  3. A white or gray membrane can form over the surgical site and is normal. This usually disappears in 1-2 weeks.
  4. You may note a bad taste or objectionable mouth odor.
  5. Sutures (if needed) dissolve on their own.  They do not require removal.
  6. Take ibuprofen (Advil) 400 mg every 4 hours starting as soon as you get home for the first 2 days. Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) 650 mg every 4 hours if you have been advised not to use ibuprofen type medications.
  7. If throat swelling worsens to the point where breathing becomes difficult, contact the doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
  8. Take all medications as prescribed.  The combination of antibiotics, pain medications and drainage can cause an upset stomach.  If stools become loose or you have nausea and vomiting, contact our office.
  9. Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep well hydrated.  Avoid hot and highly seasoned foods for the first 3-5 days.  You can advance you diet to more regular foods as you can tolerate.
  10. You may return to work the day after surgery; however, you should not drive, operate machinery or make major decisions if taking narcotic pain medication.