Some discomfort is expected after surgery. If necessary, you will be prescribed pain medication. If your discomfort cannot be managed, please call our office.


You may be prescribed antibiotics, pain medication, decongestants, steroids, or no medicine at all. All prescriptions should be taken as directed. In addition to your prescribed medication, you may take ibuprofen (also known as Advil® or Motrin®) if you have taken it before. It typically comes in 200 mg tablets; you may take up to 3 tablets every 6 hours or 4 tablets every 8 hours. You may also take Tylenol (1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours). Do not drive or consume alcohol when taking Vicodin®, Percocet®, or other narcotic medicines.


Change the gauze every hour until the bleeding stops. When changing the gauze, throw away the old gauze and fold a new piece of gauze into a tight square. Place the newly folded gauze directly over the surgical site and close your mouth normally. It is possible to have bleeding for up to 24 hours. Remove the gauze when you are eating or drinking.<br


Stitches will usually dissolve in 7–10 days and do not need to be removed.


It is strongly recommended that you do not smoke or vape 2 weeks after oral surgery. Smoking severely slows the healing process and can cause a dry socket infection.


If you had your upper wisdom teeth removed, had an implant placed into the upper jaw, or had sinus surgery, do not blow your nose, do not use a straw, and do not play wind instruments for the next couple of weeks. If you sneeze, do so with your mouth open. Your sinuses are sensitive after the upper teeth are removed or after sinus surgery.

Rinsing and Brushing

You may begin brushing your teeth and gently rinsing your mouth following surgery. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing several times a day, for one week with warm salt water or Peridex™ (medicated rinse if prescribed). Be very careful when brushing, and avoid direct contact with surgical sites. If you use a dental retainer, do not use it for 1 week.


Place an ice pack on the outside of the jaw in 30-minute intervals for at least the first 48 hours after surgery. Use two to three pillows when lying down to help keep your head elevated. This will decrease the bleeding and swelling. Slight bruising around the face and neck is normal after oral surgery.


You may eat soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, and soft pasta. NO drinking with a straw for 2 weeks after surgery. If you had an implant or a bone graft, do not chew on that area for 3–6 weeks.

Graft Material

If you had a bone graft, you may find sand-like pieces in your mouth. If this occurs, rinse your mouth out gently with water. If any of these particles are accidentally swallowed, they will NOT cause you harm.

Irrigation Syringe

If you received a syringe, begin using the syringe 7 days after surgery. Fill the syringe with warm water. Take the syringe and place the tip right at the opening of the tooth socket and rinse until the area is cleaned and free of food that may be caught in the surgical area.


For the first 2 weeks after implant surgery, do not brush teeth with an electric toothbrush, as it may loosen the cover screws off the implant. Eat only soft foods and try to avoid chewing on the implant.

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