Post-Operative Instructions

Do NOT rinse or spit for 5 days after an extraction. You can hold cool water in your mouth, swish gently, then, open your mouth over the sink and let it fall out by gravity.

Do NOT SPIT! or use a “Water - Pik”!

Do NOT chew gum or suck on candies or a straw! Drink from a glass or cup!

Do NOT drink alcoholic beverages, especially when taking medicine for pain!

Do NOT drive a vehicle, operate machinery or use sharp, dangerous utensils after a general anesthesia or sedation or when taking sedative or narcotic medicines! After general anesthesia or sedation, Do NOT sit up or stand up quickly! Your blood pressure needs time to adjust to changes in body position during the initial 8 hours post-operatively. Go slowly and have someone else assist you!

Do NOT use mouthwash, peroxide or salt water rinses! You must take care NOT to disturb the blood clot in the surgical site. This blood clot covers and seals off the jaw bone. If it is partially or totally lost, the exposed bone (a dry socket) usually causes constant, deep, throbbing pain that can radiate to the ear. This requires the doctor’s attention.

When brushing your teeth, dip the toothbrush into plain water or mouthwash diluted 50/50 with tap water. In the surgical area, you can use a dry “Q-tip” cotton swab instead of the toothbrush. Starting the sixth day after the surgery, you may resume normal tooth brushing, Starting then, you should rinse and spit after meals and at bedtime, to cleanse the surgical site.

If you have pain, take the medicine for pain as described by the doctor. Do NOT take any medicine containing aspirin. Without infection or other complications, pain disappears within 24 hours. However, if the surgery was difficult or if infection was already present, pain may last longer. If you have increasing or severe pain, more than 24 hours after the surgery, call the doctor.

If a gauze pad was placed in your mouth after the surgery, remove and discard it when you get home. Active bleeding (bright red blood) should stop within a few minutes, but oozing of blood can continue for hours. Oozing during the day of surgery is to be expected. Pink or dark red blood is NOT active bleeding. If active bleeding (bright red blood) continues or begins again later on, place an unused tea bag (regular tea, NOT green, herbal or decaf) into a cup of cold tap water and push it into the water and allow it to get soaking wet. Then, wipe away all clots that are protruding outside (NOT inside) of the socket with a clean gauze pad or cold wet paper towel and place the wet, cold tea bag directly on the bleeding site and bite gently. The liquid that seeps out of the cold tea bag and the cold temperature will stop the bleeding. Allow the tea bag to remain on the bleeding site for 1 hour. Then, gently and carefully peel the tea bag out; so that you Do NOT pull the blood clot out. Repeat once, if necessary.

If active bleeding i s brisk or cannot be controlled by these measure s , call the doctor! Rest quietly and keep your head elevated. While sleeping or lying down, prop your head up on 2 or 3 pillows. With your head elevated, gravity will help limit swelling and bleeding.

Apply an ice pack to the skin overlying the site of surgery. Swelling after surgery can continue to increase over the first 48 hours. The pressure and cold temperature of the ice pack on the area will help limit the amount of swelling. Therefore, use the ice pack, if needed, for the first 2 days post-operatively. After 2 days, Do NOT use an ice pack!

Avoid anything that might irritate or injure the healing (spicy, salty, acidic very hot or cold foods). Do NOT eat foods that require much chewing!

Do NOT chew near the surgical site! The best foods are soft, mashed, pureed, stewed or liquids. You can use a blender or food processor to prepare meals that require a minimum of chewing.

Drink plenty of liquids! Do NOT use a straw! Drink from a cup or glass!

If you are having a problem that cannot wait for our next regular office hours, you must contact the doctor by calling our office (201-224-0094) and following the directions on the answering machine. If your call is not returned within 20 minutes, call the office again.