A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

What to Expect - Post Visit Care

After your visit, it is imperative that the patient be monitored and cared for. In order to ensure a short and successful recovery it is important that you follow the provided instructions:

Take home instructions PDF

Wound care

  • Bite firmly on guaze pack that was placed during treatment for at least for 30-60 minutes after treatment is finished. Then remove it gently.
  • Do not smoke for at least 12 hours because this will promote unnecessary bleeding and interfere with recovery.

Bleeding

  • Some blood will ooze from the area of surgery; this is normal. You may find a blood stain on your pillow in the morning. We advise that you use an old pillowcase the night after your procedure.
  • Do not spit or drink through a straw because this will promote bleeding.
  • If bleeding begins again, place a small, damp gauze pack directly over the tooth socket and bite firmly for 30 minutes.
  • Keep your head elevated with several pillows or sit in a lounge chair while sleeping.

Discomfort

  • Some discomfort is normal after your procedure. It can be controlled, but not eliminated by taking the pain medication your dentist prescribed.
  • Please follow the instructions outlined on the outside of the pain medication packaging.
  • Do not drive or drink alcohol while under the influence of pain medication.

Diet

  • It is important to drink a lot of fluids. Do not drink thick fluids through a straw because this may promote bleeding.
  • Eat normal, regular meals as soon as possible after the procedure. Cold, soft food such as ice cream or yogurt may be the most comfortable at first.

Oral hygiene

  • Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for the first 12 hours after surgery.
  • After at least 12 hours, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of warm water) every four hours while awake.
  • Brush your teeth gently, but not thoroughly. Avoid the surgery area for 2-3 days.

Swelling

  • Swelling after surgery is a normal bodily reaction. Swelling reaches its maximum about 48 hours after surgery and lasts 4-6 days.
  • Applying ice packs over the area of surgery for the first 12 hours helps control swelling and may help the area to be more comfortable.   

Rest

  • Avoid strenuous activity for three days.

Bruising

  • You may experience some mild bruising in the area of your surgery. This is normal for some people and is not cause for alarm.

Stiffness

  • After surgery you may experience jaw muscle stiffness and limited opening of your mouth. This is normal and should improve in 5-10 days.

Stitches

  • If stitches have been applied you may need to have them removed in about one week. Your doctor will tell you if this is necessary.