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Post-Operative Instructions

If you have had a procedure at our office, please utilize this page to find helpful post visit instructions. If you have any further questions please feel free to call our office number 520-825-4491. 

Oral Surgery Postoperative Care

  • Continue biting on the gauze for 45-60 minutes after surgery, you should place pressure on the gauze pad covering the extraction site. If bleeding continues, apply new gauze and reapply firm pressure for an additional 45 minutes.

  • If you experience excessive prolonged bleeding, dampen a tea bag (dip in room temperature water) and place on the affected area, bite firmly for 60-90 minutes, and keep your head elevated.

  • Some oozing of blood is normal for the first 12-24 hours. It is normal to see blood tinged saliva. Place a towel on your pillow as some drooling can occur.

  • Do not spit or rinse your mouth in the first 24 hours. Passively empty your mouth when needed. The goal is to keep the blood clot in the socket to prevent bleeding and a painful complication known as DRY SOCKET.

  • Do not brush your teeth on the day of the surgery. The day after the extraction, you may resume normal home care: gently brushing and flossing, AVOIDING THE EXTRACTION SITE.

  • After 24 hours, you may use a warm salt water rinse. However do not “swish” it around in your mouth. Simply tilt your head from side to side allowing the water to flow across. Do not spit; just let the fluid passively empty out from your mouth.

  • Avoid using ANY commercial mouthwash until extraction site is healed.

  • DO NOT: use a straw, smoke, drink carbonated or alcoholic beverages for at least 5 days after surgery.

  • Plan to eat cold soft foods, that you can cut with a fork for the first 24 hours. After that you may resume a normal diet as long as you are comfortable.

  • Avoid anything hard or sticky that might get stuck in your teeth such as: nuts, seeds, popcorn, or similar foods.

  • Examples of foods to eat immediately after your surgery:

  • Liquids, Jell‐O, cool soup broth, pudding, milkshakes, ice cream and oatmeal.

  • On the 2nd day you may progress to lukewarm foods.

  • You may resume your regular diet on the 3rd day, avoid chewing with the affected area.

  • Avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, and do not exercise for at least 3-4 days after the surgery

  • Do not bite your lips, cheeks, or scrape your gums. Keep your fingers and tongue away from the socket or surgical area.

  • Swelling and discoloration are a normal part of the healing process, so don’t be alarmed.

  • Swelling will reach its peak following the first 48‐72 hours.

  • Cold compresses should be applied as soon as possible after the surgery to diminish swelling. Place cold compresses on the outside of your face near the extraction site for 10 minutes. Remove for 10 minutes and repeat.

  • Elevating your head and shoulders on two pillows at rest will also help to decrease the swelling and will improve your comfort.

  • Swelling usually begins to diminish after 72 hours.

  • Some bruising, swelling, and pain are normal – particularly if you have had a wisdom tooth extraction.

  • Over – the – counter pain medication (Ibuprofen, Aleve, and Tylenol) may be taken as to relieve discomfort.

  • Avoid taking medication on an empty stomach as this may cause nausea and/or vomiting.

  • It is important to take all medication as prescribed.

  • If you feel you have developed an allergy to any of the prescribed medications, please STOP using them and call the clinic immediately.


  • It is normal to experience some discomfort, sore spots and speech problems while getting used to your new dentures. Your dentures will need adjustments until you are comfortable. To help with speech, read aloud for a few minutes every day to help your mouth adjust.

  • Your bite will need to be adjusted as your dentures settle.

  • It is important to clean your denture with a denture brush and a mild toothpaste. Soaking your denture once a week in denture cleaner will keep them clean.

  • You should leave your dentures out for at least six hours to allow your gums to rest. Food particles trapped under the denture cause inflammation and sore spots. Brush the roof of your mouth as well as your gums and tongue. This will help keep your mouth healthy.

  • For partial dentures with metal clasps, special care should be taken while inserting and removing them. Keep your partials and remaining natural teeth clean to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

  • You should return to the office to have your dentures and mouth checked at least once a year, as changes in the mouth occur with further bone loss and wear on the teeth. These changes will make the denture not fit right thus causing trauma to your gums and bones leading to continuing damage.

  • With proper care we expect you to have years of satisfied use of your dentures. However, over time, there are changes in your jawbone and gums. When this occurs, your dentures/partials will feel loose and may require relining. Wearing ill-fitting dentures/partials for too long without refitting can cause severe bone loss and very serious oral disease. Please call our office if these symptoms occur.

Temporary Crown and Bridge
  • You will wear temporary restorations until your permanent restoration is made.

  • It is normal for the gum around the tooth to be tender for a day or two. 

  • If the temporary restoration comes loose or breaks, please call us.

  • Please avoid eating with the temporary restoration as much as possible and favor the other side of your mouth when eating.

  • Carefully clean around the restoration with a toothbrush and floss. When you do floss, pull the floss carefully out the side to avoid pulling the restoration off. In certain cases, we may advise you not to floss the area until your final restoration is delivered.

  • Avoid sticky and hard foods on the temporary restoration to avoid pulling it off.

  • Slight discomfort, sensitivity, and tenderness are possible after a tooth has had dental treatment, but if the symptoms persist, please call our office.

After Delivery of Permanent Restoration
  • Chewing: Do not chew for at least 1 hour. The cement must mature for about an hour to have optimum strength.

  • Sensitivity: Mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods is common. It should disappear gradually over a few weeks. Infrequently, sensitivity lasts longer than six weeks. Please tell us if this occurs.

  • Aggressive chewing: Do not chew ice or other hard objects. Avoid chewing very sticky foods because they can damage or loosen the restoration.

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