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Post- Operative Instructions


1.    DISCOMFORT following periodontal surgery varies from patient to patient and even from one area to another in the same mouth.  You have been given a long-lasting local anesthetic and it is normal for you to remain “numb” for several hours after surgery.  It is best to start taking your prescription pain medication prior to the local anesthetic wearing off in order to minimize discomfort.  Continue to take your pain medication as long as necessary according to the instructions placed on the label.  You may supplement as needed between doses of your prescribed narcotic pain medication (Vicodin, Percocet, Norco, etc.) with your prescribed non-narcotic analgesic medication.  As soon as you are able, discontinue the narcotic analgesic and continue with the non-narcotic analgesic, until pain medication is no longer required.  While you are taking prescription narcotic pain medication, do not consume alcoholic beverages or operate any vehicle or hazardous devices or work until fully recovered from the effects of the above.

2.    BLEEDING: Blood-stained saliva is not at all unusual during the first 24-48 hours after surgery.  Should frank bleeding occur, rinse your mouth with strong, cool tea or water to determine the exact location.  If bleeding persists in one area, wet a regular tea bag or place a piece of gauze and apply gentle pressure for twenty minutes.  Repeat this if the bleeding has not stopped completely.  When bleeding occurs, it is always best to keep the head elevated.  If it continues, call the office.  After office hours, the answering service will contact your doctor.  In the unlikely event that we do not respond to your call, report to your local hospital emergency room.

3.    NAUSEA should it occur, would most likely be the result of swallowing blood or as a side effect from your medications. To minimize this possibility, avoid taking medication on an empty stomach.  Take all medications, if possible, with a small amount of food.  If it persists and results in vomiting, stop taking all medications and contact our office.

4.    SWELLING is a normal sign of healing, unless it exists in the presence of a temperature and pain.  If severe swelling is present or you have a temperature of 101 or greater, please contact our office.  To minimize swelling, place an ice pack on your face over the healing areas as soon as possible after your surgery for 20 minutes and then remove the ice for 20 minutes.  Repeat as often as possible, up to 24 hours after your surgery. 

5.    TO AID HEALING take your antibiotic prescription as directed.  Use prescribed oral rinse twice daily until further notice.  Do not brush, floss or use other oral hygiene aids in the surgical areas.  Maintaining good nutrition is essential to healing well.  

Special Instructions for Pre-medication Patients:  Take your premedication as usual the day of surgery, then take additional antibiotics as prescribed between your surgical appointment and the first post-operative visit.