General Post Operative Instructional Handbook

You may expect some swelling after your dental surgery, regardless how minimally invasive. Swelling is part of the natural healing process. Swelling depends on the nature and extent of your surgery. Fair skinned, or individuals who bruise easily may anticipate some discoloration of the skin in the area surrounding the surgical procedure site. You should not experience severe discomfort. Any discomfort you may experience should be controlled with proper medication.

When you should notify your doctors:

  1. If active bleeding continues after 3-4 hours of applied pressure to the surgical site.
  2. If you are unable to maintain a nutritious diet after 48 hours.
  3. If numbness persists after the initial day of surgery.
  4. If pain or swelling increases after the third day.
  5. If bleeding has not decreased after two days.
  6. If sutures or stitches become loose or dislodged prior to the third day or if a temporary becomes loose or fractures.
  7. If you have any symptoms which may indicate a reaction or allergy to medications, such as skin rash, hives, elevated temperature, increased heart rate, erratic heart rate, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, or blurred vision. 
  8. If your body temperature, measured orally, exceeds 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Please notify your doctor at the number below if you have any questions or if any of the above applies to you. Most often a simple explanation can resolve the situation and free you of worry.


Home Care Instructions


To slow and prevent bleeding, bite with light pressure on a gauze pack that has been placed over the surgical site. Pressure should be applied in 30 minutes intervals and repeated until the bleeding is controlled. Pressure will assist in the body’s natural blood clotting process.

If bleeding persists, without slowing for several hours, apply a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze and repeat the step above. The tannic acid in the tea will assist in controlling the bleeding.

If active bleeding is still occurring after 3-4 hours, and the above measures have been taken, call your doctor’s office immediately.

After 24 hours, gently rinse with warm salt water. DO NOT use vigorous washing action. This may dislodge the blood clot or disrupt the body’s natural clotting process.

DO NOT exercise, use physical force or enter stressful situations for 24 hours.

DO NOT operate heavy or hazardous equipment for the first 24 hours.

Follow the additional instructions provided, that are pertinent to the particular medications that your doctor has prescribed for you.


Apply ice packs at fifteen minute intervals to reduce swelling. Swelling is a part of the body’s healing process and can be expected for three days depending on the nature and extent of the surgery. After 72 hours, heat may be applied to the swollen area. Heat will increase circulation and aid in the healing process.

Dietary Needs after Surgery:

DO NOT try to eat solid foods until the local anesthetic wears off. You will have no feeling in the surrounding area, including your tongue, and may unknowingly bite yourself.

DO NOT use a straw when consuming liquids. The sucking action will cause a vacuum in the mouth and may dislodge the blood clot which is part of the body’s natural healing process.

A nutritious diet throughout your healing stage is most important for your comfort. Since you will be taking medication it is important that you are aware that eating certain foods can prevent nausea sometimes associated with certain medications.

Cooked cereals, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt and toast are recommended for initial day following surgery.

Soups, broiled fish, stewed chicken, mashed potatoes and cooked vegetables can be added to your diet as your comfort indicates. DO NOT eat sticky or hard foods.

Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes, orange juice and citrus fruits. Sensitivity to cold can occur and will disappear gradually with time. Avoid ice, ice cream and cold drinks.


DO consume liquids immediately and prior to taking any pain medication. This will help prevent nausea and upset stomach and expedite the medications’ effects.

Vitamin C:  1500 mg. per day-Begin taking 5 days prior to your surgery and continue until your treatment has been completed.

Antibiotics:  As prescribed. It is important that all antibiotics be taken to completion.

Post Operative Instructions:

The following is a list of general instructions following surgery.

These general instructions are designed to minimize your post-operative discomfort and inform you of situations which can and may arise.

DO NOT rinse for at least 24 hours.

DO NOT rinse for 3 days following a bone graft surgery.

DO NOT over exercise. (Heart rate will increase and thus bleeding will increase.)

DO NOT smoke. If you smoke, your implant(s) will likely fail.


Get plenty of rest.

Ice-Cold compresses on the swollen area.

Pressure– lite pressure on the area.

Elevation-Elevate your head whenever you lie down. Two to three pillows are usually sufficient.      

Post Operative Medications:

  1. If an antibiotic is prescribed during treatment, you should take the medication exactly as instructed on the prescription.
  2. If you were sedated for surgery, do not drive or operate heavy equipment, do not work around machinery, and do not climb ladders or work at unprotected heights for 24 hours.
  3. Do not consume alcoholic beverages until the healing process is complete and while you are taking pain medication.
  4. Do not exceed the prescribed recommended dosage. Take only as directed on prescriptions.
  5. Do not give any of your medication to any other individual, including members of your family.
  6. Do not leave your medication exposed and available to children.
  7. Notify your doctor if you have any symptoms that may be related to an allergic reaction. If you cannot reach your doctor, contact the local hospital emergency room. At that time have the prescribed medication with you so that you can discuss the matter with emergency room personnel.
  8. After the initial 24 hours following surgery. In the morning only, you may begin the Perio-Med mouth rinse, following the instructions on the bottle.  IF RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR CASE
  9. After 48 hours following surgery, prior to bedtime, begin using the Peridex mouth rinse. IF RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR CASE