Post-Surgical Instrucions
(Important: Please Read)

imageBITE FIRMLY on the GAUZE PACK(S) placed in your mouth for at least one hour. Then change to a fresh gauze every hour until there is no spotting on the gauze. If bleeding persists and is heavy, a dampened tea bag used instead of gauze to bite down on may help stop the bleeding.

Dr. Harper usually places DISSOLVABLE SUTURES in most of our wisdom tooth surgery patients. These sutures are designed to fall out and dissolve between 3-5 days after your surgery. If a stitch should come out on the first day it should not be a problem since there are typically several sutures placed in each area. For those patients who have had multiple tooth extractions, a follow-up appointment will be made for you one week after surgery to remove the sutures.

Apply ICE PACKS to the skin over the surgical site(s) continuously for 6 hours. This will minimize swelling and bruising considerably. HEAT PACKS are to be used the day after surgery to reduce swelling. Swelling, if any, will peak around the third day following surgery and will gradually reduce each day.

MEDICATIONS: Take as directed on the label of your prescription bottle. Take meds with fluids such as 7-Up, Ginger Ale or Gatorade for re-hydration. If Meclizine was prescribed, take this medication 15 minutes prior to every does of pain medication to help prevent nausea. The first dose of pain medicine should be taken immediately when the patient gets home. The second dose should be given every 3 to 4 hours after that as needed for pain management unless otherwise directed. RESUME ALL MEDICINES you normally take, following your surgery. ADDITIONAL PRESCRIPTIONS OR REFILLS WILL NOT BE PHONED IN AFTER BUSINESS HOURS OR ON WEEKENDS.

FOODS: Absolutely do not chew solid food for the next 24 hours. It is okay to have Gatorade, fruit juices, thin milkshakes, smoothies, yogurt, Jello, pudding, applesauce, etc. Cold foods and fluids are suggested for the first 24 hours after surgery.

ACTIVITIES: If you have received intravenous medications, you MUST NOT drive a car, or operate machinery or dangerous tools. Remain in a comfortable position in bed or seated for at least 24 hours. Dizziness or nausea may result from sudden changes in position.

DO NOT SMOKE CIGARETTES or use tobacco products for the next 48 HOURS following surgery. This may result in infection, dry socket, increased pain or prolonged healing. AVOID CAFFEINE IN ALL FORMS for the next 48 HOURS; stimulants usually counteract the pain pills. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL for the next 48 HOURS.

TOOTHBRUSHING should continue regularly in areas where there are no sutures. Around sutures, gentle rinsing with warm salty water using your tongue or finger is enough to clean these areas the first 24 hours. Beginning the day after surgery, Peridex rinse should be used twice daily for one week.

NAUSEA AND VOMITING can be avoided by taking meds with plenty of fluids in your stomach, fresh gauze packs to absorb bleeding, and resting quietly without sudden changes in position. The swallowing of blood is the most frequent cause of nausea following oral surgery.

AN ORAL SURGEON IS ON CALL AND AVAILABLE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY. A REVIEW OF THE INFORMATION ABOVE MAY SUITABLY ADDRESS YOUR CONCERNS.

DR. HARPER’S OFFICE – 541-726-4690