Pre & Post Operative Instructions

Pre-Operative Instructions

It is the goal of our office to make certain that your visit will be as comfortable and as pleasant as possible.

The following instructions may be helpful when preparing for your upcoming surgery. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any last minute questions.

Medication Instructions

You should receive your pre/post-operative prescriptions with this instruction sheet. For your convenience, please have them filled prior to your scheduled surgery.

  • Please stop the following medications 7 days before surgery: fish oil, flaxseed, omega 3’s, CoQ-10, Aspirin (if self-prescribed), ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories, vitamin E, and glucosamine.
  • Have prescriptions filled out ahead of your surgical date.
    If antibiotics have been prescribed, start them 24 hours prior to your surgical appointment.
  • If you need to take antibiotic premedication (for example if you have had a joint replacement), please take your premedication 1 hour prior to your surgical appointment.
  • If you take blood pressure or heart medication in the morning, please take it with small amounts of water.
  • If you are currently treated with a blood thinner (e.g. coumadin, pradaxa, xarelto, aspirin, plavix), do not stop these medications until instructed by our office.
  • Morning of surgical visit, brush and floss thoroughly.
    If being sedated, make sure you have someone with you to drive you home following your visit.
  • A large segment of your time has been set aside for your appointment. Notice for cancellation must be no less than 48 hours in advance of your appointment time, otherwise you will be charged for the visit.
  • Wear short sleeves, long pants, and socks.
  • No smoking day of surgery.
  • If you have an inhaler, bring it with you the day of the surgery.
  • Please do not apply make-up.
  • If you are undergoing IV sedation, do not eat 6-8 hours prior to your procedure.

In order to evaluate your progress and healing, we will see you for post-operative checks usually 1-3 weeks after your procedures. In most cases, after surgery, we will also look forward to seeing you back for a periodontal maintenance cleaning and an examination of tissue maturation about 2-3 months following the surgery.


Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. You will be prescribed an antibiotic if our doctor determines it to be necessary. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.

Food Suggestions

When preparing a post-op menu, please consider some of the following choices:

  • Ensure/Slim Fast
  • Soups
  • Pudding
  • Rice
  • Apple Sauce
  • Oatmeal
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Jell-O
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Pasta
  • Milk Shakes
  • Casseroles
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Cottage Cheese

Post-Operative Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed and are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Pain Medications

It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You may be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

As an alternative to prescription medications, most patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol to be effective. Ibuprofen is the generic brand for Advil and Motrin. Each tablet comes in 200mg each. You are allowed to take up to 2400mg in a 24 hour span, with each maximum single dosage being 800mg. Most patient do well taking 800mg of Ibuprofen every 8 hours (for example: 6am, 2pm, and 10pm). If necessary, you may combine this with Tylenol at 10am and 6pm.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicodin or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.

Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.


Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. It is also beneficial to drink plenty of iced water over the course of the first 48 hours. Continue using ice for 2 days following the procedure as often as possible.

After 48 hours, applying moist heat will help dissipate the swelling. Rinsing with warm salt water (one cup of water, as hot as you can stand, with 1-2 teaspoons of salt) several times/day will also be beneficial.


A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Elevate your head when lying down.
  • Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
  • Apply pressure with a moistened tea bag for 20 minutes.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists.

Dressing (Bandages)

The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off or is uncomfortable, please call the office for directions.


Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 1 hour following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.


Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results. Smoking in general will detrimentally affect the results of treatment.


Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.


Do not rinse heavily. Most likely you will receive a prescription for a mouthwash. With both the mouthwash and the warm/salt water rinses, you should move your head around, not rinse.


Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Suture Removal

You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Premedication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.

Contact us with any pre or post operative questions or concerns!