Post-Surgical Instructions


 You may have received intravenous drugs to make your surgical procedure comfortable for you. Although the major effects of these drugs wear off rapidly, there may be residual effects that can alter your judgment and physical abilities. To ensure your post-anesthesia treatment will be uneventful: 

  • You are to go directly home after your surgery and rest quietly the remainder of the day. The residual effect of your intravenous medications may cause you to be drowsy. Your pain medications (pills issued for post-operative pain reduction) may also cause nausea. The combined effect may make you feel lightheaded or dizzy, so do not use stairs at home, etc. without assistance for the remainder of the day.
  • Use a cold compress to reduce swelling (for the first 48 hours after surgery). Alternate sides every 30 minutes.
  • A gentle flow of oxygen was used during your surgery, and, for some patients this may “dry” the nasal mucosa. This can result in sneezing episodes or a “runny” nose that should subside within 12 hours.
  • Drink milk or eat a soft nutritious meal prior to taking pain medications. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
  • No driving of motor vehicles or operating machinery for 24 hours or while taking narcotic medications.
  • Do not schedule major decisions while taking narcotic medications.

 It’s important that a blood clot forms over an extraction site to stop the bleeding, reduce pain, and speed healing. If you were given gauze from our clinic, moisten with water and change every 1 to 2 hours as needed for bleeding. Remember, some oozing of blood and saliva can be expected for up to 48 hours following the procedure.



  • After 24 hours, some patients will most likely have swelling (typically peaks 48-72 hours post-surgery), bruising, discomfort, limitation in opening or closing of mouth, pain in the jaw and/or near ear(s), a sore throat, and even a runny nose.
  • Use a moist warm compress starting 48 hours after surgery. Alternate sides every 30 minutes.
  • You may begin to eat normally as long as it is comfortable. After meals you may start rinsing gently with warm salt water and at bedtime. (1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of water)
  • Resume brushing and flossing, but clean gently around the site for about a week. *If you had a dental implant placed, please see additional information on the back of this sheet*
  • Continue taking medications as prescribed on the bottle.



  • Avoid spitting or using straws for the first 24 hours. The suction can increase the risk of excessive bleeding & dry socket. *If you had your wisdom teeth removed, please continue this instruction for 5 days post surgery
  • Avoid strenuous Activity. Raising your heart rate or blood pressure can increase your risk of excess bleeding. In some cases, we may request that you avoid physical activities for 48-72 hours following your procedure.
  • Avoid smoking or E-cigarettes. Whenever tobacco/nicotine products are used, they may greatly decrease the chances of proper healing. Therefore, we suggest avoiding smoking for the first 72 hours following surgery.
  • Avoid blowing your nose. If any upper back teeth were removed, avoid blowing your nose for one week following surgery. If you develop a cold, with congestion, please call our office for further instructions. 



ANTIBIOTICS: If you were prescribed antibiotics, you must take until all gone. Follow instructions written on the bottle. 

IRRIGATION SYRINGE: If you were given an irrigation syringe, DO NOT use for 5 days after your procedure. After the 5th day of your surgery, you may use warm salt water to irrigate the socket(s). Continue using syringe until the socket(s) are fully healed and closed. (This may be several weeks) *the syringe MUST be placed inside the socket in order to irrigate debris & bacteria* *DO NOT use if a bone graft or dental implant was placed* 

BLEEDING: If bleeding persists, try placing a tea bag in the extraction site and bite down as if it were gauze for approximately 60 min. 

FEVER: If you develop a fever of 100 degrees F or higher, please notify our office ASAP.


SUTURES: Some sutures are dissolvable, while others will need to be removed at your follow-up. If the dissolvable suture (yellow/gold in color) falls out or dissipates as soon as the first day of surgery, it’s okay. Do not be alarmed and there is no need to come in for replacement. It may take up to 10 days for this type of suture to dissolve. If you were given the non-dissolvable sutures (white in color), a follow-up appointment will need to be scheduled in approximately 3-4 weeks for removal. If you had sutures placed on your skin (due to a biopsy or facial cosmetic procedure), a follow-up will need to be scheduled between 7-10 days for removal.


BARRIER: In some cases, your surgeon will place a protective barrier over the site where bone grafting was placed. This barrier will be removed on your follow up appointment you scheduled the day of surgery. If the barrier becomes bothersome or falls off, please, do not be alarmed and give us a call at one of our clinics for further instruction.


DENTAL IMPLANTS: Post operative implant care takes time and patience.  It is best to leave that area alone for the first week after placement. Please stick to softer foods or chewing in a different area for the duration of your healing period.

 *If you use an ultrasonic toothbrush, turn it off when brushing over the implant. To help avoid failure, no direct biting on the implant.


BONE GRAFTING: If a bone graft was placed during surgery, DO NOT use an irrigation syringe. 


DENTURE  and STENTS: When an immediate denture or a stent is placed at the time of surgery, it serves as a bandage for the first 24 hours. DO NOT take the denture out until you see your dentist the day after surgery. At that visit your dentist will take the denture out to make appropriate adjustments.


MEDICATIONS: If you were prescribed medications by our office, please follow instructions written on the bottle(s). It is VERY IMPORTANT that you consult one of our surgeons prior to surgery if you are taking prescribed medications for any medical condition(s). This will determine any special instructions you may need to follow with the medications we prescribe. If you develop a rash, itching, or swelling around the eyes and face (not associated with the surgery) you should STOP TAKING ALL MEDICATIONS IMMEDIATELY AND NOTIFY THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY!


POST-OPERATIVE NUMBNESS: Local anesthesia is administered during surgery and typically lasts a few hours after the procedure. You may be numb in the following areas; lips, tongue, teeth, cheeks, and gums. If the numbness doesn’t wear off, please notify our office.  Following your surgical procedure, and until the sensation returns, be careful concerning: hot drinks that may burn the tissues; chewing your lips, tongue, or cheeks; and eating utensils or other sharp objects that may cause damage. Parents need to observe their child during this time of sensation return and ensure trauma does not occur.

 If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Silverdale office at (360) 698-9335 or the Poulsbo office at (360) 779-2339 at anytime. After business hours, the answering service will contact our on-call staff and doctor.