Post-Op Instructions

General Post-Operative Instructions:

Some degree of discomfort and pain arises a numbness subsides. At the first sign of pain or discomfort, take the prescribed medications. As an alternative, you may take 2-4 Advil. If you cannot take aspirin products, then take two Tylenol. If the pain you are having, is not controlled by the Advil or “Advil-like” prescription, you may take the prescribed severe pain medicine [typically Vicodin ES], but only after eating some food. Any pain medications can cause nausea and vomiting. It is very important that you have some food in your stomach before you take them.

DO NOT DISTURB THE AREA OF SURGERY. Allowing the tissues to rest undisturbed assists the healing process. Avoid vigorous chewing, excessive spitting, or aggressive rinsing. If you routinely use a Water Pik, avoid doing so during the healing phase. Initial healing may be delayed, active bleeding restarted, or infection introduced.

Expect minor bleeding or oozing. If bleeding persists, continue pressure on a fresh sponge for an additional 30 minutes to an hour. Biting on a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze may help control persistent oozing from the surgical site. Tea contains tannic acid, which helps promote blood clotting.

Firm pressure for 15-30 minutes usually controls the problem. If you check too frequently, (every few minutes), the blood clot will not form properly and bleeding will continue. Should active bleeding persist, Please call the office or page the doctor.

LIMIT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Over exertion may lead to postoperative bleeding and discomfort. When you lie down to keep your head elevated on a pillow. You may wish to place a towel on your pillowcase to avoid staining from any blood-tainted saliva.

PAIN FOLLOWING ORAL SURGERY will be most severe within the first 6-8 hours after the operation. Please do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking prescription medication. Do not wait for the pain to become unbearable before using some form of pain medication, as then it will be more difficult to control. Moderate to severe pain usually does not last longer than 48 hours. And mild discomfort usually diminishes after the third day. Please contact us if you experience prolonged severe pain so that we can help make you more comfortable.

SWELLING RELATED TO THE SURGICAL PROCEDURE may occur following certain types of procedures. An ice pack should be placed on the side of your face for 20 minutes then taken off for 10 minutes and repeated. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil, also help decrease swelling.

FLUID INTAKE IS IMPORTANT. Clear beverages, ginger ale, Seven-up, or Sprite, water, teas, soda, broth, soups, or juices are all suitable. Avoid hot liquids until the numbness has worn off, and the bleeding has stopped. Drink plenty of fluids.

AVOID USING A STRAW FOR SEVERAL DAYS. It may dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.

FOOD SELECTION. Soft, cool foods are most easily tolerated. A nutritious diet is most important to your comfort and temperament. Remember that eating can prevent nausea sometimes associated with certain medications. Supplements such as Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast and/or yogurt supply excellent added nutrition.


Take any special medication we have prescribed on the special dosing schedule. Yogurt with active cultures or acidophilus should be taken while on antibiotics to prevent diarrhea. It is important to take the antibiotics to completion. If you are given antibiotics and take birth control pills, you should be aware that the birth control may become ineffective, therefore take appropriate precautions.

Take any regularly scheduled medication (for diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) on your regular schedule unless advised to do otherwise.

TRY TO AVOID SMOKING COMPLETELY, as it tends to delay healing and interfere with regeneration.

The Day Following Surgery and Thereafter

On the day following the surgery, rinse your mouth carefully with 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a large glass of warm water. Repeat three times a day until remaining soreness subsides. Please do not use a syringe or water pik during the healing phase.

DO NOT WORRY ABOUT STITCHES. They are usually dissolvable

ANY SWELLING, SORENESS OR STIFFNESS IN THE JAW MUSCLES can be relieved by applying a warm moist towel to the affected side of the face.

Sometimes a soft diet may be necessary for the first few days following surgery. Most patients are able to resume regular food intake within a short time.

Bruising marks may appear on the skin of the face during the first few days after surgery.

Should any undue reaction or complications arise, notify the office immediately.

If you need to contact us after office hours, please call the doctor’s cell phone. If he does not answer immediately, remember to always leave a voice message with your name, number and where you can be reached.

I make every attempt to answer my emergency pager as promptly as possible. Occasionally, your messages do not reach my cell phone. If you are experiencing an emergency, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. You may also try to reach your dentist.

Post-Operative Instructions Following Dental Implants:

Placement of dental implants usually does not create a great deal of pain. General postoperative instructions apply, with the exception of rinsing.

Remember DO NOT rinse with the warm salt water. The Doctor has given you a prescription rinse containing chlorhexidine, an antibacterial medicine to assist in the healing and keep the site healthy. Make sure that you get rid of any toothpaste residue prior to rinsing and then DO NOT eat or drink for 30 minutes after rinsing. This will maximize the potency of the medication.

Generally speaking following implant surgery the Gore-Tex sutures need to be removed. They are white strings which may see in your mouth. If they become loose and annoying, call the office to have them removed at your earliest convenience.

Post-Operative Instructions Following Bone Grafting:

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.

Do not vigorously rinse or spit for 3-5 days

Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing.

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.

First Day: let the blood clot stabilize, do not even rinse your mouth. Following the first day: gentle rinsing would be advised but not too vigorously. ABSOLUTELY NO WATER PIK’S.

Post-Operative Instructions Following Sinus Grafting:

Do not blow your nose.

If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open to avoid any unnecessary pressure.

Do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Smoking greatly inhibits the healing,especially in the sinus graft.

Do not take liquids in through a straw.

Do not lift or pull up on your lip to look at the stitches, as this may actually create damage and tear the stitches.

Take your antibiotics as directed and until finished.

You may have some bleeding from the nose. This is not uncommon and should pass quickly.

You may be aware of small granules in your mouth for the next few days. This is not unusual, as your graft is mainly made of particles and some excess particles will be lost.

If you feel congested, you may need to use antihistamines or decongestants. If you do, Use over the counter products such as Sudafed, Tavist-D or Dimetapp. I would also suggest that you avoid nasal sprays unless they are saline.

Post-Operative FAQs:

My dressing fell out, what should I do?

A periodontal dressing is most helpful during the first 24 hours of healing. After that it serves only to provide you comfort and protection, much like a Band-Aid. Therefore it is not critical that the dressing be replaced if it falls off after surgery. Many times we do not even place a dressing. If your dressing falls off and you feel strongly that you would prefer to have it back on, call the office to arrange for its replacement. Often, healing progresses faster with it off. Always let comfort be your guide.

Can I take the Advil and the Vicodin at the same time?

Yes. Try to schedule taking them so that they do not both wear off at the same time. Remember to have food in your stomach.

What should I do if I get a rash?

Stop all new medications and call the doctor immediately. DO NOT take any more medication until the allergic reaction has been identified.

Can I brush my teeth?

Do not brush the surgical area, but continue to clean the rest of your mouth.

Can I use my Water Pik?

NO! Not for 8 weeks post-operatively.

Are there any foods I should avoid?



We hope the information in our website is helpful to you in getting to know about our practice, your oral surgical needs and how they are addressed.

Check out the various sections of our website and do not forget to call us to make an appointment.

Our Address - Surprise

West Valley Periodontics

18731 N. Reems Rd Suite F620,
Surprise, Arizona 85374



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Our Address - Avondale

West Valley Periodontics

13065 W. McDowell Suite A101,
Avondale, Arizona 85392



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Office Hours

Monday 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
Saturday CLOSED



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