Surgical Instructions

We hope that you will find this information helpful as you prepare for your appointment.

Before Anesthesia and Sedation

  • Please do not eat or drink (including water) for eight hours prior to your appointment.
  • Please do not smoke for at least 12 hours before surgery.
  • Bring a responsible adult with you who can remain in the office during the procedure and drive you home afterwards.
  • Plan to be unable to drive a vehicle or operate machinery for 24 hours following anesthesia.
  • Please wear loose fitting clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up past your elbow and low-heeled shoes.
  • Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be taken out or off during surgery.
  • Do not wear lipstick or excessive makeup on the day of surgery as this may irritate the surgical site.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, or upset stomach, please notify the office.
  • If you take routine oral medication, please consult with your doctor and oral surgeon prior to your surgery for instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. The amount of swelling is usually proportional to the surgery performed and usually becomes apparent the day following the surgery, but it may not reach its maximum until three days following surgery. For the first 36 hours after surgery, you can use ice packs to help control the swelling.


Some bleeding or redness in your saliva is normal after surgery. Usually, bleeding can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad in the affected area for 30 minutes. If bleeding is excessive and does not subside, please call our office for further instructions.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) may be taken every 3 – 4 hours.

For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Please note that this medication will slow your reflexes, and you should not operate a vehicle or machinery while under its influence.


Following surgery, you should be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Drink from a glass, as sucking liquid through a straw may cause complications at the surgical site. Avoid hot liquids and hard foods on the day of surgery because these can irritate the surgical site. As you heal, you will be able to resume your normal diet.

Other Considerations

  • Keeping your mouth clean is essential to good healing. You may rinse with a 1 tsp / 1 cup water mixture beginning the day following surgery.
  • Nausea and vomiting are side effects of anesthesia and pain medication. If you experience this, do not eat for one hour. Sipping on a carbonated beverage or tea usually helps nausea subside.
  • Be careful when going from lying down or sitting to standing. You may feel lightheaded.
  • If you experience numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue, there is no cause for alarm. It is usually temporary in nature. Be careful not to bite the numb area accidentally. As always, feel free to call our office if you have any questions.
  • You may experience a slight fever immediately following surgery. This is not uncommon, and Tylenol or Advil should reduce your temperature.
  • If the corners of your mouth are dry and crack, you can keep them moist with Vaseline.
  • Exercise or physical activity may cause your surgical site to throb or bleed or you to become lightheaded. We recommend that you keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery.