After Non-Extraction Surgery

The aim of the following information is to give you key details about recovery from your surgical procedure and the effects on your life style during the healing phase.  Please read the instructions and follow the directions carefully.  This will help to minimize your discomfort, speed up your recovery, and help to prevent complications.


  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for at least an hour.  You can change the gauze every hour until the bleeding has slowed down then you can remove and discard it.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided.  This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take Ibuprofen (Advil) or the prescribed pain medications as soon as you get home BEFORE the local anesthetic starts to diminish and you begin to feel discomfort.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on Swelling for an explanation.
  • Do not smoke for one week following surgery.


Drink plenty of fluids.  Avoid hot liquids or foods.  Soft foods and liquids should be eaten on the day of the surgery and for several days following the surgery.  Avoid chewing directly on the area(s) of surgery until it feels comfortable.


Be sure to take antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection if they were prescribed to you.


Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery.  This tends to disturb the blood clot, open the wound, and can prolong the bleeding and slow the healing.  You should not have a significant amount of blood in your mouth after surgery.  Saliva can be swallowed, even if it is slightly blood tinged.

Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential to reduce the risk of infection.  Start salt water rinses the day following your procedure.  Use one teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the salt solution, taking 5 minutes to use the entire glassful.  Repeat as often as you like, but at least 4-5 times a day and always after eating.

When brushing, be very gentle.  When expectorating, also be gentle.

We will prescribe an antibacterial rinse (Peridex, Chlorhexidine) for certain procedures.  This rinse should be used in the morning and at bedtime after your routine mouth care.  Do not eat or drink or rinse your mouth after using the medicated rinse.  Using this rinse more than two times a day may cause staining of the teeth.


Various degrees of swelling may occur following surgery.  To minimize swelling, steroids are often prescribed and the use of ice packs is recommended.  Apply an ice pack (frozen gel packs or frozen peas or corn work well) to the affected side of your face for a maximum of 10 minutes ON then 10 minutes OFF.  Place a cloth or tea towel between your face and the ice pack.  Use the ice pack during the first day of surgery.  After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect.
As every person reacts differently to surgery it is impossible to predict just how much swelling will develop.  It takes approximately 7-10 days to resolve.  If it doesn’t disappear or goes away and returns, please call our office.


Severe pain is usually not experienced, but some pain and discomfort is to be expected after surgery.  For mild to moderate discomfort use Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg two tablets every four hours.  Extra strength Tylenol can also be taken every four hours.

For more severe pain, use the prescription given to you.  If the pain does not begin to subside in two to three days, please call the office.

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.  Please try to call during office hours.  If you are experiencing an emergency you may contact the office at any time at #604.439.7874 for further instructions.