Post-Op Instructions

Post-Operative Instructions for Dental Surgery

DO NOT rinse or swish your mouth with water or mouthwash for 24 hours.  It is important not to disturb or wash the clot inside the socket area protecting the bone.  Once removed, the exposed bone may cause a painful situation we call a “Dry Socket”.  If you are thirsty in the next day, slowly sip from a glass.  Avoid using a straw to drink, blowing your nose and any excess spitting.  Acidic juices, carbonated drinks and hot beverages are not recommended.  Avoid SMOKING and ALCOHOL for at least 3 days, as they greatly increase chances of a dry socket occurring.  Mouthwash also contains alcohol and produces a drying effect.

AFTER 24 hours, slowly gargle with WARM salt water 3 times daily for a few minutes each time.  This encourages the area to heal more quickly and helps wash away excess bacteria formation around the surgical site.  Use a mixture of I teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water.

Continue to bite on the gauze in your mouth until you leave the office and reach your destination.  Once there, remove the gauze and check for bleeding.  If there is no bleeding present, the gauze does not have to be replaced.  If the gauze is saturated with blood remove it and take 2 to 3 sterile gauze squares from the packet given to you, fold in half twice and place in the surgical site.  Apply pressure by biting down for half an hour.  After this time, remove and repeat the process if necessary.  If there is NO BLEEDING, gauze is not required.  If excess bleeding occurs, bite on a damp regular tea bag for half an hour.

If persistent bleeding occurs – Contact our office immediately.  If the office is closed, call Dr. Syme at 403-615-9046   Avoid any strenuous activity for approximately 2 days.

You may be confined to eating softer foods for a few days.  Avoid spicy or acidic items.  Make sure the temperature of your food is warm and not hot.

Keep the surgical area clean with a very soft toothbrush and avoid placing the bristles directly into the surgical site.  Avoid using tooth paste in this area and be very gentle.  This gentle cleansing will reduce stagnant bacteria and promote healing.

If you have been told that you have surgical sutures (stitches),please follow these directions: 

Resorbable Sutures do not require any attention.  They will simply disintegrate on their own in approximately one week.

Non-Resorbable sutures will require a return visit to our office in approximately one week for removal by Dr. Li or his assistant.

Do not tug or pick at these sutures.  This could cause bleeding or disrupt the healing process.  

If you have been given a prescription for antibiotics and pain medication, please follow these directions carefully:

Antibiotics have been given to help combat infection.  It is VITAL that you continue to take this medication until the entire prescription is completed.  Please do not consume alcohol while taking antibiotics.

Discomfort is normal and may be combated by taking Motrin, Tylenol or both, as directed by Dr. Syme.  Please take this medication as directed and only as required.

If you have been given directions to use Ice or Cold Packs to reduce SWELLING in the area of your surgical procedure, please follow these directions:

As soon as possible after leaving the dental office; place ice or an ice pack, wrapped in a soft cloth, on the area.  This should be done for approximately 15 to 20 minutes on and then 15 to 20 minutes off at a time.  Frozen bagged vegetables will work also, as they can be molded to your face.

Swelling occurs when minimal bone has been reduced to gain access to the surgical site. A cold, moist compresses may be used to alleviate sore facial muscles.

Should you have any problems, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call the office immediately.