Post-operative Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure you just had completed. They 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 will 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, some patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol to be effective. You may take the combination of the following dosages: 3 Ibuprofen (200 mg) tablets and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol every 6 hours.  It can be beneficial to stager the two medication doses by 3 hours to maintain peak pain relief levels.  Please ask for further details regarding appropriate dosing schedules.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol.  Your total dose is not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen (3 grams in a day). 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. Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.


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.
  • Enclose a moistened black tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists.


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


Avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed for 1 week. Also avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 24 hours following surgery. A soft diet is recommended for 2-3 days to allow early healing and blood clot stabilization. Foods such as cottage cheese, 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.  Please communicate with our office regarding smoking cessation or ask if you have any questions regarding available resources for smoking cessation.


Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications and avoid spirits during the first 2-3 days of healing.


Do not rinse for the first 24 hours after surgery. After that, you may use either Listerine or a provided prescription strength rinse twice a day.  Please rinse as necessary with salt water to help keep the area clean.  A recommended strength is 1/4 teaspoon in 1-8 ounce glass of water. 


Do not brush the surgical site unless directed to in your yellow post-operative sheet. You may resume normal brushing/flossing 1-week following the surgery.  A prescriptions mouth rinse will be provided to help you keep your surgical site clean.  It is important to keep plaque around a surgical wound to a minimum.  Please ask if you have any questions regarding cleaning during the early healing phases. 

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. Depending on the procedure performed, sutures are removed from 1 to 4 weeks post-operatively.  You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at Duluth Phone Number 218-606-1280.