Pre-Op / Post-Op Instructions

Pre-Op Instructions

Aspirin Users

If you are taking aspirin, Advil or similar medications, we ask you to stop for a week before your scheduled appointment. If you take aspirin on your physicians order, please check with their office. Aspirin can induce excessive bleeding during and after the procedure.

Blood Thinners

If you are taking any prescription blood thinners, such as Plavix, Coumadin, etc., you must have a pre-operative protocol, which will be determined by consultation with your physician.

Post-Op Instructions

These instructions are designed to help minimize post-surgical discomfort, and inform you of situations that may require special attention.

You will have to return 5-7 days after your surgical appointment to have your dressing and sutures removed.

Do not eat or drink any hot foods while you are numb (about 2-3 hours). We ask that you minimize your activities following your procedure. Try to rest for 2-3 hours. If you have to return to work, physical activity should be limited.

Apply an ice pack to the outside of your face in the area of surgery. Apply ice for 10 minutes, then off for 10 minutes, and repeat frequently on the day of your surgery. Use gentle cold water rinses as needed. Do not use mouthwash on the day of surgery. Avoid brushing and chewing in the area of surgery until the post-operative visit, but brush and floss the rest of your mouth. Gentle rising with diluted mouthwash may be done. Take any prescribed medications as directed. Good nutrition and fluid intake is important.

Mild to moderate discomfort may be experienced for a day or two following most periodontal and implant surgical procedures.

Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) should be taken for two to three days. It works as an anti­ inflammatory, pain preventative and pain reliever. If you experience discomfort, a stronger prescription may be taken. It is advisable to take the medication with food to avoid stomach distress.

You may experience swelling and bruising, which may increase during the first 2-3 days. In order to prevent or minimize swelling, it is necessary to hold and ice pack on your face over the area of surgery. The ice pack should be held in place for ten minutes, and removed for ten minutes. This procedure should be repeated for the first 24 hours. If there is more than one surgical procedure, multiple ice packs can be used or a single ice pack can be shifted from one area to the next every fifteen minutes. If swelling persists after the first 24-48 hours, apply moist heat to the involved area as often as is convenient. Contact the office if swelling increases after the first 3 days.

Some bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Since it only takes a small amount of blood to discolor the saliva, do not become alarmed, as this is normal. It is advisable to avoid rinsing vigorously, or using a straw, for the first twenty-four hours following surgery.

If moderate bleeding, continuous bleeding, or large clots occur, do the following:

  • Stop taking Motrin, as this can sometimes prevent normal clotting.
  • To help visualize the bleeding area, rinse gently with cold water.
  • Apply a moistened tea bag to the immediate area with moderate pressure for twenty minutes. Repeat if necessary.

If bleeding continues, please contact our office.

In order to protect the surgical area, it is sometimes necessary to place a dressing. This is a pink, putty-like material that is placed around the teeth in the area of the surgery. It may stay in place until your first post-operative visit. However, at times, the entire dressing or small pieces of it may break off. This is of no concern unless the area becomes uncomfortable.

Do not brush, floss or use a Waterpik® in the surgical area. This will allow the surgery to heal undisturbed. It is extremely important to continue routine oral hygiene procedures on those teeth that have not been treated surgically.

In order to achieve the maximum healing response, we recommend the following dietary guidelines:

  • Do not eat or drink anything hot while you are numb (1-3hrs)
  • Eat a soft nutritional diet rich in protein and vitamin C. Follow the recommendation for a soft diet that we have provided on a separate sheet.
  • Try to avoid chewing in the area of surgery. If surgery has been done on both sides of your mouth, chew gently and carefully. Avoid foods with seeds, nuts and shells. Following surgery, your teeth may be sensitive to hot, cold, spicy and acidic foods. Avoid them only if they are causing you a problem.

Refrain from alcohol consumption for 24 hours following surgery. Smoking severely compromises tissue healing. Refrain from smoking for as long as possible or at least 2 weeks following surgery.

Antibiotics may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. In order to prevent an infection, it is necessary to take all the prescribed antibiotics as close to the advised time schedule as possible. In order for Doxycycline to be effective, it should not be taken simultaneously with dairy products. However, do not take Doxycycline on an empty stomach. To ensure that the antibiotic will provide the most benefit, finish the prescription. A probiotic (yogurt or tablet) will help your digestive tract while taking an antibiotic. You need to wait 2 hours after eating yogurt before taking the antibiotic.

It is advisable to limit vigorous physical activity for 72 hours. This will help prevent any bleeding problems.