Surgical Instructions

Find information about your scheduled surgery below:

  • You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for six (6) hours prior to the appointment.
  • 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.
  • 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 which can be rolled up past the elbow or short sleeves,  and low-heeled shoes (no flip flops).
  • Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed 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, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office prior to your appointment.
  • If you take routine oral medications, please check with the office prior to your surgical date for instructions.
  • Do not disturb the wound.
  • Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery.
  • Do not smoke.
  • There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.

Bleeding

  • Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours.
  • Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 60 minutes.
  • You will be further instructed on the placement of the gauze post operatively.

If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.

Swelling

Some swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, plastic bag, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice at 20 minute intervals for the first 48 hours.

Diet

  • Drink plenty of fluids!
  • Soft foods and liquids should be eaten following your surgery.
  • Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Discomfort

  • You should begin taking pain medication as soon as possible, you will be given individual instructions at your surgery.
  • Prescriptions are normally given prior to surgery to allow you to get them filled.
  • If you have questions please bring them with you to your surgery.

Antibiotics

If antibiotics are prescribed be sure to take as directed.

The following information applies when grafting material has been placed to help preserve your jawbone in preparation for possible implant replacement.

Your bone graft is made up of many particles. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. Do not be alarmed by these. It’s normal to have some of them come out of the graft site and into your mouth.

There are some things you could do to minimize the amount of particles that become dislodged:

  • Do not disturb or touch the wound.
  • Avoid rinsing or spitting for 2 days to allow blood clot and graft material stabilization.
  • Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing. You will be instructed on the placement of gauze after your surgery.
  • Do not lift or pull on the lip to look at the sutures. This can actually cause damage to the wound site and tear the sutures.
  • Do not smoke.

Following the second day, gentle rinsing is allowed, but not too vigorously as you can again disturb some of the bone graft granules. If a partial denture or a flipper was placed in your mouth, you may have to see your restorative dentist to have it adjusted and learn how to remove and replace it appropriately.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with a doctor.

After Sinus Lift

The following information applies when upper jaw bone height or width have been lost. The graft is placed to help restore your jawbone in preparation for possible implant replacement of the missing tooth or teeth.

A Sinus Lift Augmentation procedure regains lost bone height in the area of your first and second molar and occasionally second premolar. It is an important procedure as it allows implant placement in an area that could not be implanted otherwise because of insufficient bone height due to an enlarged sinus.

The bone that is been grafted is most commonly a combination freeze-dried bone, artificial synthetic bone and your own bone. Because of this you may have two post-surgical wounds: the donor site and the recipient site.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. BLOW YOUR NOSE FOR THE NEXT FOUR (4) WEEKS.

This may be longer if indicated. You may sniff all you like but NO BLOWING.

Do not blow your nose or sneeze holding your nose. Sneeze with your mouth open. Do not drink with straws and do not spit. Scuba diving and flying in pressurized aircraft may also increase sinus pressure and should be avoided. Decongestants may be recommended or prescribed to help reduce pressure in the sinuses. You may also be given a prescription for antibiotics. Please take these as directed. Anything that causes pressure in your nasal cavity must be avoided. Avoid “bearing down”—as when lifting heavy objects, blowing up balloons, playing musical instruments that require a blowing action or any other activity that increases nasal or oral pressure.

Smoking must be stopped.

Oral Hygiene

  • Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery.
  • Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Start salt water rinses the day following your procedure, if a prescription mouth rinse was prescribed use as directed in addition to the salt water rinses. Do not brush the teeth in the area of surgery for 48 hours. When brushing, be very gentle. When expectorating, also be gentle.
  • Do not smoke for at least two weeks after surgery, if at all. As discussed at your consultation, smoking dramatically increases the risk of bone graft and sinus augmentation failure.
  • Wear your Prosthesis or Nightguards as directed by the Doctor, please call the office if you have any questions.

Post-Operative Problems or Complications

As with any procedure, unexpected post-operative issues can occur.

  • If you notice the unexpected flow of air or liquids between your mouth and nose, please let us know immediately.
  • If you are aware of small particles of graft material in your mouth or being discharged from your nose let us know as well.
  • If you experience sinus or nasal congestion on the side your surgery was performed, let us know.
  • If there is an increase in swelling in your mouth, cheek or under your eye after 3 days, let us know.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with a doctor.

The removal of impacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure and post-operative care is very important. You will be instructed prior to your surgery and also at the surgery appointment.  Written instructions and contact information for the Doctor will also be given.

Immediately Following Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for an  hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed, discarded and replaced as needed.  We will provide gauze for home care following surgery.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as directed.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face as directed to address swelling.
  • Do not smoke.

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first gently rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for 60 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for 60 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.

Swelling

The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two plastic bags filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be used intermittently 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, for the first 48 hours.  After 48 hours ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Additionally, 48 hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling and help with stiffness.

Diet

Drink plenty of liquids after general anesthesia or IV sedation,  but DO NOT use straws. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical site(s). High calorie, high protein intake is very important. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least five to six glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss meals. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort, and heal faster if you continue to eat.

CAUTION: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position, you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.

Keep The Mouth Clean

You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least five to six times a day with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt especially after eating. If a prescription mouth rinse was given, use as directed.

Discoloration

In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. This is a normal postoperative occurrence, which may occur two to three days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.

Antibiotics

If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Discontinue antibiotic use  and call our office in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction.

Nausea & Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on Coke, tea, or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a 15-minute period. When the nausea subsides, you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine. Please call the office if symptoms persist.

Other Complications

After Sinus Lift

The following information applies when upper jaw bone height or width have been lost. The graft is placed to help restore your jawbone in preparation for possible implant replacement of the missing tooth or teeth.

A Sinus Lift Augmentation procedure regains lost bone height in the area of your first and second molar and occasionally second premolar. It is an important procedure as it allows implant placement in an area that could not be implanted otherwise because of insufficient bone height due to an enlarged sinus.

The bone that is been grafted is most commonly a combination freeze-dried bone, artificial synthetic bone and your own bone. Because of this you may have two post-surgical wounds: the donor site and the recipient site.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. BLOW YOUR NOSE FOR THE NEXT FOUR (4) WEEKS.

This may be longer if indicated. You may sniff all you like but NO BLOWING.

Do not blow your nose or sneeze holding your nose. Sneeze with your mouth open. Do not drink with straws and do not spit. Scuba diving and flying in pressurized aircraft may also increase sinus pressure and should be avoided. Decongestants may be recommended or prescribed to help reduce pressure in the sinuses. You may also be given a prescription for antibiotics. Please take these as directed. Anything that causes pressure in your nasal cavity must be avoided. Avoid “bearing down”—as when lifting heavy objects, blowing up balloons, playing musical instruments that require a blowing action or any other activity that increases nasal or oral pressure.

Smoking must be stopped.

Oral Hygiene

  • Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery.
  • Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Start salt water rinses the day following your procedure, if a prescription mouth rinse was prescribed use as directed in addition to the salt water rinses. Do not brush the teeth in the area of surgery for 48 hours. When brushing, be very gentle. When expectorating, also be gentle.
  • Do not smoke for at least two weeks after surgery, if at all. As discussed at your consultation, smoking dramatically increases the risk of bone graft and sinus augmentation failure.
  • Wear your Prosthesis or Nightguards as directed by the Doctor, please call the office if you have any questions.

Post-Operative Problems or Complications

As with any procedure, unexpected post-operative issues can occur.

  • If you notice the unexpected flow of air or liquids between your mouth and nose, please let us know immediately.
  • If you are aware of small particles of graft material in your mouth or being discharged from your nose let us know as well.
  • If you experience sinus or nasal congestion on the side your surgery was performed, let us know.
  • If there is an increase in swelling in your mouth, cheek or under your eye after 3 days, let us know.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with a doctor.