The following are postoperative instructions for some of the procedures that are completed at our office. For the majority of oral surgery procedures, please see the “post-operative oral surgery care instructions” section. If you have had corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, please see the “post-op corrective jaw surgery” section. If you have had a sinus procedure, or had a sinus exposure during another procedure, please see the “postoperative patient instructions for sinus precautions” section. If you have any questions that aren’t answered below, please do not hesitate to contact us at the office


Instructions for the majority of oral surgery procedures

If you have misplaced or forgot your post-op instructions, they are available for you below. Your comfort after a procedure is our top priority. Please feel free to contact us at any time.


Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all of the instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification. Our number is: 801-437-7701. We have a 24-hour answering service, so please call if you have any problems.

Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not controlled. The packs may be gently removed after one hour. If active bleeding persists, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 30 minutes. The gauze may then be changed as necessary (typically every 30 to 45 minutes). It is best to moisten the gauze with tap water and loosely fluff for more comfortable positioning.

Do not disturb the surgical area today. Do NOT rinse vigorously or probethe area with any objects. You may brush your teeth gently.

PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since this is very detrimental to healing and may cause a dry socket.

Intermittent bleeding or oozing overnight is normal. Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the areas and biting on the gauze for 30-45 minutes at a time.


Bleeding should never be severe. If so, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between teeth only and are not exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try repositioning the packs. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy you may
substitute a tea bag (soaked in very hot water, squeezed damp-dry and wrapped in a moist gauze) for 20 or 30 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.

Swelling is often associated with oral surgery. It can be minimized by using a coldpack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off during the first 24 hours after surgery. If you have been prescribed medicine for the control of swelling, be sure to take it as directed.

Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication.
If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, you should be able to manage any discomfort better.
Some patients find that stronger pain medicine causes nausea, but if you precede each pain pill with a small amount of food, chances for nausea will be reduced. The effects of pain medications vary widely among individuals. If you do not achieve adequate relief at first, you may supplement each pain pill with an analgesic such as aspirin or ibuprofen. (Do not take Tylenol with your pain medication without asking the doctor first, because most standard pain prescription medications have Tylenol in them). Some patients may even require two of the pain pills at one time. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within six hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that your need for medicine should lessen.
If you find you are taking large amounts of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our office. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication for the weekend, you must call for a refill during weekday business hours.

Nausea is not uncommon after surgery. Sometimes pain medications are the cause.Nausea can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food, and taking the pill with a large volume of water. Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize dosing of pain medications, but call us if you do not feel better. Classic Coca Cola may help with nausea.

Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Avoid extremely hot foods. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is sometimes advisable, but not absolutely required, to confine the first day’s intake to liquids or pureed foods (soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.) It is best to avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods. It is important not to skip meals! If you take nourishment regularly you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.

If you feel something hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling the bony walls which once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.

Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least two or three times daily.

Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.

You may apply warm compresses to the skin over the areas of swelling (hot water bottle, hot moist towels, heating pad) for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to help soothe tender areas. This will also help decrease swelling and stiffness.

Normal healing after tooth extraction should be as follows: The first two days after surgery are generally the most uncomfortable and there is usually some swelling. On the third day you should be more comfortable and, although still swollen, can usually begin a more substantial diet.
The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement. If you don’t see continued improvement, please call our office. If you are given a plastic irrigating syringe, DO NOT use it for the first five days. Then use it daily according to the instructions until you are certain the tooth socket has closed completely and that there is no chance of any food particles lodging in the socket. It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office where you had surgery. A 24-hour answering service is available to contact the doctor on call after hours. Calling during office hours will afford a faster response to your question or concern.

Contact us with questions: Office: 801.437.7701 | [email protected]


The following are post-operative instructions for those that have undergone corrective jaw surgery also known as orthognathic surgery. Please read all of these instructions carefully.

Even though you can open your mouth a small amount, you will still not be able to chew for approximately 6 weeks. Anything blended or liquid is acceptable. You may also have any foods that are soft enough or small enough to be mashed between your tongue and teeth without chewing. These things may include any liquids, soups, scrambled eggs, applesauce, pie, cake, ice cream, yogurt, pasta that is well chopped and soft, as well as meats that are finely ground up. High-calorie, high protein meals are the best to use along with plenty of liquids. This may require eating a small meal 5-6 times/day rather than 3 large meals. You may also use supplemental nutritional drinks such as Boost or Ensure.

Weigh yourself when you get home every 4-5 days following the procedure. Expect to lose 7-10 pounds following surgery. Attempt to maintain your weight after leaving the hospital!

Brush your teeth using a small amount of toothpaste and rinse your mouth with salt water and/or the prescribed mouthwash. Oral hygiene is the single most important thing you can do to minimize possible infection.

Take it easy for the first week following your surgery. You may resume most of your normal routine after the first week as you tolerate. Avoid activities that might cause injuries to the face ie: football, basketball, racquetball, weightlifting etc. Aerobic exercise may resume at least 2 weeks after surgery

Antibiotics – if prescribed use only as directed. Pain medications – if prescribed use only as directed. Anti-nausea –if prescribed use as instructed and notify our office if relief is not quickly obtained.

Use ice packs on your face for 48 hours; your swelling will maximize by 3 days after surgery and may take weeks to completely resolve. Sleep with your head elevated (2-3 pillows) for 3-5 days. Use ointment on lips to avoid drying and chapping. If upper jaw surgery is done, slight bloody nasal drainage is normal; use appropriate nasal sprays as prescribed.

Elastics are small rubber bands used to retrain chewing muscles after surgery. These should be worn at all times except when eating or brushing your teeth and wires. Your doctor will review how to wear them and how long you will need them.

Contact us with questions: Office: 801.437.7701 | [email protected]


Please do not blow your nose; use a kleenex and just wipe if necessary.

If you feel as if you are going to sneeze, please sneeze with your mouth open.

You have been given two additional prescriptions; and antibiotic and nasal decongestant. Please take both these medications as directed until you have completed the entire course of treatment.

Your follow-up appointment is very important so the surgical site can be evaluated and determine if it is healing properly.

Contact us with questions: Office: 801.437.7701 | [email protected]