- Health History Information
- Care Instructions Before Anesthesia
- Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare
- Dental Implant Surgery Aftercare
- Tooth Extraction Aftercare
- Orthognathic Jaw Surgery Aftercare
- Bone Grafting Aftercare
- Sinus Lift Surgery Aftercare
Health History Information
To help expedite your first visit at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona, please visit our Patient Registration page, choose an office, and fill out patient registration form including the Health History section.
Care Instructions Before Anesthesia
- You may not eat or drink anything (including water) for eight hours prior to your surgical appointment.
- Do not smoke at least 12 hours before surgery. Better yet, cut down or stop smoking as soon as possible.
- On the day of your surgery, you must be accompanied by a responsible adult who will remain in the office during the procedure and drive you home afterward.
- For your safety, do not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following anesthesia.
- Please wear loose-fitting clothes with sleeves that can be rolled up past the elbow and low-heeled shoes.
- Remove any contact lenses, jewelry, or dentures prior to your surgery.
- Do not come to your surgical appointment wearing lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish.
- If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, or stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
- If you take routine oral medications, please check with your oral surgeon prior to your surgical date for instructions.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare
Impacted wisdom tooth removal is a serious surgical procedure. That’s why it is important for you to carefully follow these post-operative care instructions to avoid the unnecessary pain and complications of infection and swelling.
Immediately After Surgery
- Keep the gauze pad placed over the surgical area in place for a half-hour. Afterward, remove and discard the gauze pad.
- Gently rinse your mouth and avoid touching the wound area after surgery to ensure you don’t accidentally dislodge the blood clot that is forming and trigger bleeding.
- Take your prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort, which may occur as the effects of the local anesthetic wear off.
- Restrict your daily activities on the day of your surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
- Place ice packs to the sides of your face where your wisdom tooth was removed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you’re awake during the first 36 hours after the procedure. Afterward, switch to the application of moist heat, which helps to reduce swelling.
What to Do for Bleeding, Swelling, or Pain
- Bleeding. It’s normal to see a certain amount of bleeding after surgery. To control excessive bleeding, rinse or wipe any old clots from your mouth, place a gauze pad over the surgical site and bite down firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat as necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps your body to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. It also helps to sit upright, avoid exercise, and remain calm. If bleeding doesn’t subside, call for further instructions.
- Swelling. It’s not uncommon to notice swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face on the day following surgery. This swelling will likely increase until the second or third day after the procedure. Rest assured it’s your body’s normal reaction to surgery and subsequent healing. Simply follow the instructions for the use of ice packs and moist heat described above.
- Pain. You’ll find relief from moderate pain by taking one or two tablets of Tylenol® or Extra Strength Tylenol® every three to four hours, or two to four tablets of Motrin® or Advil® (200 mg) every three to four hours. For more severe pain, take your prescribed pain medication as directed. Because prescription pain relief will make you groggy and slow your reflexes, do not drive or work around machinery. You’ll notice how the pain or discomfort following surgery lessens each day. If pain persists, call the office to see if additional follow-up care is needed.
Care Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery
After dental implant surgery, it’s important to not disturb the wound to allow it to heal. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery and follow these post-operative care instructions carefully:
- Bleeding. It’s normal to notice some bleeding or redness in your saliva during the first 24 hours. If you experience excessive bleeding – with your mouth filling up rapidly with blood – bite down on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, call for further instructions.
- Swelling. Don’t be concerned if you notice swelling – your body’s natural healing response to surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag (using either a plastic bag or towel filled with ice) on the cheek in the area of your surgery. Apply this ice bag continuously, as much as possible, during the first 36 hours following surgery.
- Diet. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Only soft food and liquids should be consumed on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
- Pain. Begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, take one or two Tylenol® or Extra Strength Tylenol® every three to four hours. As an alternative, you may take two to three 200-mg tablets of ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) every three to four hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, take your prescribed pain medication as directed. Do not take any of the above medications if you are allergic or if you’ve been instructed by your doctor not to take them.
- Antibiotics. To help prevent infection, take your antibiotics as prescribed.
- Oral hygiene. Practice good oral hygiene – essential to good healing – by following these instructions. Before bed on the night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse. Beginning the day after surgery, start using Peridex twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Warm water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least four to five times per day, especially after meals. It’s OK to brush your teeth and the healing abutments, just be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.
- Activity. Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you experience throbbing or bleeding with exercise, discontinue the activity.
- Wearing your prosthesis. As discussed in the pre-operative consultation, do not wear partial or full dentures or flippers for at least 10 days following surgery.
Care Instruction After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, healing begins when a blood clot forms and the bleeding stops. You have an important role to play in the process, and here are some important post-operative care instructions to carefully follow:
- You need to bite down on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing persists, repeat this step for another 30 minutes. You may need to do this several times.
- For the first 72 hours after your tooth extraction, do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site. By doing these activities you run the risk of dislodging or dissolving the clot and slowing the healing process.
- Limit vigorous activities (which will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site) for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
- To reduce swelling after the procedure, apply an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or frozen corn to the area. Swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
For pain, take medications as directed and call the office if they don’t seem to be working.
- If you’ve received a prescription for antibiotics, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if the signs and symptoms of infection are gone.
- Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. Then eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
- After 24 hours, resume your normal dental hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day.
- After a few days, you should feel fine and can resume normal activities. But if you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain or continued swelling after two to three days, call our office immediately.
After Orthognathic (Reconstructive Jaw) Surgery
You play an important role in your healing process. Following your corrective jaw surgery, it’s important that you carefully follow the post-operative instructions given to you by your surgeon. Here are a few pointers you’ll receive:
The First 24 Hours After Surgery:
- Medications. Take your medications as instructed.
- Swelling. To help reduce swelling, keep your head elevated and apply an ice pack or unopened bag of frozen peas or frozen corn to the area.
- Diet. To avoid dehydration, take in as much fluid as you can. It’s recommended that you consume 64 ounces of water per day (eight 8-ounce glasses of water). At first you will be placed on a clear liquid diet (water, light juice, broth, etc.).
- Bleeding. It’s normal to notice minor bleeding or oozing of blood from the surgery wounds during the first 24 hours. It’s also normal to experience limited jaw mobility and some numbness of your lower lip, chin, cheeks, tongue, and teeth (for lower jaw surgery); and your upper lip, cheeks, nose, and teeth (for upper jaw surgery).
- Oral hygiene. Twice a day rinse with Peridex mouth rinse (an antibacterial mouth rinse) and brush your teeth at the same time. Carefully use a baby tooth brush to keep your teeth clean, taking extra precautions around the incision sites.
- Other precautions. For upper jaw surgery, do not blow your nose or sneeze through your nose for the first two to three weeks.
The First Week After Surgery:
- Medications. Take 600 mg of ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) every six to eight hours to help reduce pain and swelling. If you don’t receive adequate pain relief from these medications alone, add the prescription pain relief at least one hour after taking ibuprofen. Avoid alcohol while taking these medications. Take any other prescribed medications as directed by your surgeon.
- Swelling. Expect swelling to be worse in the first week (it generally peaks from the third to fifth day after surgery), and gradually lessen. To help reduce swelling during the first 48 hours after surgery, place crushed ice in a plastic bag, wrap the bag in a towel, and place it on your face. Use the ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, giving your skin adequate breaks from the cold. Do NOT apply heat to the area, which will worsen swelling.
- Diet. During the first week after surgery, stick to a full liquid diet (milkshakes, smoothies, non-acidic juices, Jell-O, and blenderized foods.) Avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, and very sugary fluids, which may promote dehydration.
- Oral hygiene. You may remove the elastics for hygiene, but replace them as instructed by your surgeon. Follow this oral hygiene routine at least two to three times per day: Gently rinse your mouth with Peridex mouth rinse and use a baby-sized soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth, nearby gums, and ancillary hardware, carefully avoiding the sutures and wounds. For comfort, you may use warm saltwater rinses, but avoid mouth rinses with alcohol (the majority of commercial over-the-counter brands) that may burn and irritate the healing wounds.
- Smoking. Do not smoke, which may slow or prevent healing and may result in an infection.
- Activity. It’s important to not over-exert yourself during the first week after surgery, but you may resume light housework and other non-strenuous daily activities. By slowly resuming your activities you will help speed your recovery.
- Follow-up. Be sure to return to our office for a follow-up post-operative visit with your surgeon one week after your surgery. During this visit, your surgeon will evaluate your healing progress and answer any questions you might have. Be sure to follow your new set of post-operative instructions for the next five weeks. By the sixth week, you will be able to resume a regular diet as instructed by your surgeon.
After Bone Grafting
Following your bone grafting procedure, it’s important that you carefully follow a few simple post-operative instructions:
- Do not disturb or touch the wound.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for two days to allow a blood clot to form and the graft material to stabilize.
- Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, where the material is movable during the initial healing.
- Do not lift or pull on your lip to look at the sutures. This can actually damage the wound site and tear the sutures.
- Do not smoke.
- After the second day, you can gently rinse your mouth (but don’t do it vigorously, which can disturb the bone graft granules.) Do not be disturbed if you find some of these small granules in your mouth for the first several days.
- If a partial denture or flipper was placed in your mouth, you may want to schedule a visit with your restorative dentist to have it adjusted and learn how to correctly remove and replace it.
Care Instructions After Sinus Lift Surgery
Following sinus lift surgery, it’s important that you carefully follow a few post-operative care instructions:
- Do not blow your nose for the first four weeks following the procedure (or longer, if indicated).
- Do not sneeze holding your nose: Sneeze with your mouth open.
- Do not spit or drink through a straw.
- Avoid flying in pressurized aircraft, which may increase sinus pressure.
- To help reduce pressure in your sinuses, decongestants such as Drixoral®, Dimetapp®, or Sudafed® may be helpful.
- If you were given a prescription for antibiotics, take them as directed to help prevent infection.
- Avoid any activity that causes pressure in your nasal cavity, including “bearing down” when lifting heavy objects, blowing up balloons, or playing musical instruments that require a blowing action. If you smoke, you must stop for at least two weeks after surgery. (If necessary, your oral surgeon can prescribe a Nicoderm® patch.)
- Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery.
- It’s essential to keep your mouth clean to reduce the risk of infection. Use warm saltwater rinses (one-half teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water) at least four to five times daily, especially after meals.
- For the first 48 hours after surgery, do not brush your teeth in the area of the surgical site. Be very gentle when brushing the other teeth.
- If you have partial or full dentures or flippers, you should not use them immediately after your surgery until your post-operative appointment, unless specifically instructed otherwise. If you have a temporary flipper to wear, do not place it until the numbness in the area is gone.