General Post-Operative Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Please Note: If you will be having a *sinus augmentation please also review the additional post-operative instructions at the end of this section.If you will be undergoing **connective tissue grafting please read the additional postoperative instructions at the end of this section.

Pain Medication

It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first couple of days following your surgical procedure. Rarely discomfort may linger for up to a week. You will be given a prescription for pain medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medication as directed. If necessary, you may take your pain medication more frequently than every 4-6 hours to stay ahead of the soreness. Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

As an alternative to prescription medications, some patients have found that taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol to be effective. You may take the combination in either of the following dosages: 3 Advil (200 mg of ibuprofen) and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol (acetaminophen) or 3 Advil and 1 Extra Strength Tylenol, every 4-6 hours as needed.

NOTE: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicodin or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed safe levels of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.


Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you have to antibiotic. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For woman taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness. While taking the antibiotics and for up to a week afterwards please take alternative contraceptive measures.


Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 1-2 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for 24 hours following the procedure as often as possible. Warm compresses can be used for comfort after the initial 24 hour period. 


a small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

  • Do not rinse your mouth
  • Elevate your head when lying down
  • Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary
  • Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes
  • Call the office if bleeding persists

Surgical Dressing

You may have a surgical dressing (which acts as a bandage) which is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off or is uncomfortable, please call the office for directions. Early loss of the dressing is typically not a problem


Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 1 hour following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.


Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.


Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.


Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours. After that, you may use a mild, diluted mouthwash. Rinse passively and gently- do not swish. Repeat as necessary to help keep the dressing clean. This is especially important if you’ve had a tooth extracted and the site is bone grafted. Vigorous swishing can wash away the bone graft and the membrane protecting it. Repeat as necessary to help keep the dressing clean. 


Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Suture Removal

You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness.

*Additonal Instructions for Patients Undergoing a Sinus Augmentation

  • Do not sneeze or blow your nose. Both of these actions put a lot of force and pressure on the sinuses.
  • Include antihistamine use
  • Include Nasal Spray and Medrol Dosepak (use as directed)
  • Take your other prescribed medicines

**Additonal Instructions for Patients Undergoing Connective Tissue grafting

  • Do not pull your lip up or down to look at the graft. The pulling put stress on the grafted area, which can jeopardize the results. 

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at San Diego Office Phone Number 858-459-4364.