Kenmore 425.939.0545
Richland 509.940.0025

Instructions for Patients Undergoing Surgery


Surgery Instructions

Are you scheduled for surgery at Implant & Periodontal Associates Northwest? This section contains guidelines on what to do before and after your procedure.

These general pre- and post-op instructions apply to all procedures, including periodontal surgery, tooth removal and bone grafts. If you're getting a dental implant, block graft, connective tissue graft, free gingival graft, sinus lift or any procedure involving IV sedation, you will need to take additional precautions beyond what is covered in the general instructions.

Please note these instructions are meant to serve as general guidelines, not specific instructions. Every patient is different, and your individual instructions may be different than those outlined here. If you have any questions or concerns about what to do, don't hesitate to contact us directly.

Preparing for Surgery (Pre-Op)

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To make your procedure and recovery as pleasant as possible, it helps to plan ahead. These pre-op instructions will help ensure you're prepared. Also, please note that your individual pre-op instructions may vary slightly, so be sure to follow the personalized instructions you're given prior to your procedure.
•  Fill all your prescriptions prior to your surgery date.
•  Begin taking prescriptions as directed on the outside of the bottles, following all precautions.
•  If you take aspirin, continue to take it. Please be aware that you may experience an increase in bleeding and bruising because of this, however the health benefits of taking aspirin far outweigh the risk of discontinuing your aspirin. Please contact your physician before discontinuing any medication.
•  It can be beneficial to take acidophilus during your course of antibiotics to help maintain gastrointestinal health. Acidophilus tablets can be purchased over the counter at your local drugstore. Please remember that antibiotics can render any form of hormonal birth control less effective (oral, patch, shot, etc.).
•  If you don't have one at home, an ice pack is recommended during the first 24 to 48 hours after treatment to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
•  If your procedure involves IV sedation, do not eat or drink anything six hours before surgery.
•  If you will not be receiving IV sedation, you should eat a light meal beforehand, like a bagel or yogurt. After surgery, you may not feel like eating and your diet may be restricted.
•  Thoroughly brush your teeth and remove lipstick, if necessary, before coming in for surgery.
•  If you take a sedative, please arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment. Your driver must plan on spending the day with you for supervision. Have your caregiver keep a written log of the medications you have taken, the amount, and the time. A sedative drug may cause slight temporary amnesia (not being able to remember things for a few hours) so it is important not to be left alone. If these arrangements have not been made in advance, we will refuse to render treatment.
•  Feel free to bring an iPod, CDs, or headphones to use during your procedure.

Please note that if certain instructions have not been followed, like taking medications and arranging for transportation and post-surgical supervision, we may have to postpone your surgery.

General Instructions After Surgery (Post-Op)

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If you're scheduled for any type of surgery at our office, keep in mind the following instructions. Certain procedures have special instructions you'll need to follow in addition to these general ones.

Also, remember that instructions vary by patient and procedure. Use this as a general guide only. You should follow the personalized instructions we give you prior to your surgery.

Medications:
•  If you are prescribed pain medication, please begin taking it before your numbness wears off. If you have someone to drive you, you may take it on the way home.
•  Make sure you take your discomfort medication with food, as this will reduce the chance of nausea and vomiting. Starch-based foods are excellent choices. If you don't feel like eating, have a milkshake or protein drink.
•  If your prescription painkiller seems to wear off before it's time to take more, you can alternate it with ibuprofen. Adults generally should not exceed 600mg four times per day. Pain medication may also cause dizziness, so lie down if you're feeling woozy.
•  We recommend taking ibuprofen 2.5 hours after your narcotic if you are alternating between the two.
•  Have your caretaker keep a written log of the medications you have taken, the amount, and the time, so you don't lose track of when and what you've taken.
•  If you're prescribed antibiotics, begin taking them one day before your dental treatment, and remember to take them until they are all gone. If you don't, infection is more likely to occur.
•  Antibiotics can affect the levels of healthy gut flora needed for digestion. Acidophilus supplements, purchased over the counter at the drugstore, can help you maintain gastrointestinal health.
•  Antibiotics can render any prescription birth control medication less effective (pills, patch, shot, etc.) so it's important to use alternative birth control methods, such as condoms, from the time you start your antibiotic until your next menstrual cycle begins.

Self-care:
•  Avoid alcohol until you are no longer taking discomfort medications or antibiotics. Alcohol is a blood thinner and may cause bleeding and delay the healing process.
•  Smoking delays healing, and it can also increase bleeding and risk for infection. Avoid smoking for several days after surgery.
•  To reduce pain and swelling, apply an ice pack (store-bought or homemade) to the affected area the first two or three days after surgery. Use it in intervals: 20 minutes on followed by 20 minutes off.
•  Moist heat may be applied three to four days following surgery to help with swelling and discomfort.
•  Do not brush your teeth and avoid rinsing, spitting or sucking. These actions can dislodge the small blood clots that form during the initial stages of healing. Ask your doctor when you can begin brushing after surgery, since recommendations vary with every procedure.
•  At the time of surgery, we will give you specific brushing instructions along with a special soft manual toothbrush to use. Do not use any electric or sonic toothbrushes until you are given the OK to do so.
•  To help keep your mouth clean, we will provide you with a prescription mouth rinse to use until you are cleared to start brushing your teeth. You may begin using this rinse on day after your procedure. Do not use any other mouthwash during this time.
•  The mouth rinse can cause a temporary stain that can be polished off at our office or at your next hygiene appointment.
•  Drink extra fluids the first week after surgery.

Recuperation:
•  We recommend that you have the day of the surgery and the next day to relax. Resting is very important for the healing process.
•  Minimize your activity during this time. Avoid anything that will elevate your heart rate and blood pressure. If you work out, you may do it the morning before you come in for surgery. Please don't exercise for two to four days after surgery. Some procedures may require additional limitations.
•  After 72 hours, you may resume your regular activities based on your own comfort level. If the area begins to throb or bleed, it means you are too active. It is normal to have slight oozing/seepage 24 to 48 hours after surgery. If this is bothersome, you can drool gently into a napkin or the sink. Otherwise it is best to leave it alone.
•  Sleep with your head elevated by two pillows for three to four days after surgery. It is helpful to keep your head above your heart.
•  Place an old towel on your pillowcase in case you have some seepage or slight bleeding. You may sleep on your side or your back.
•  Do not chew food on the surgical site, if possible.
•  If you've had surgery on the front of your mouth, do not bite into anything. Cut your food into small bites, and chew with the back of your mouth.
•  When you can start brushing or flossing the surgical are depends on your procedure.
General guidelines:
•  Tooth Removal, Implant and Laser Therapy: 2 weeks following treatment
•  Crown Lengthening: 4 days following treatment
•  Tissue Grafting: 6 weeks following treatment
•  Overall, let comfort be your guide.

Healing:
•  The surgical area can be sore for about 4 or 5 days and tender for 1 to 2 weeks.
•  Bruising may occur. It is a normal part of the healing process.
•  Swelling is also normal following treatment and should start to subside after one week.
•  If you notice signs of infection, including increasing pain or swelling after the 4th day, fever greater than 101 degrees, or discharge in the site, contact our office immediately.
•  If your procedure requires stitches, note that they may be either absorbable (meaning they'll disappear on their own) or non-absorbable (meaning that they must be removed by someone in our office.) We will let you know which kind prior to treatment.
•  It's normal for stitches to hang down or come loose following treatment. If this bothers you, you can trim them yourself or ask one of us to do it for you

Dietary suggestions:
•  For the first 24 hours, do not eat or drink anything above room temperature. Sip your beverages or use a spoon. Do not use a straw, as this can cause bleeding and interfere with the healing process.
•  After 24 hours have passed, it's OK to use a straw if you wish.
•  Soft, smooth foods like ice cream, pudding, mashed potatoes, eggs, soft-cooked vegetables, meatloaf and soup are recommended for the first few days.
•  Avoid anything spicy or overly sweet, or food containing seeds or husks that can be caught in the wound site.
•  After 3 days, you're welcome to eat anything you feel comfortable chewing on the opposite side. Take small bites, and avoid very hard foods such as apples, raw carrots and chips. Let comfort be your guide.
•  When you can start chewing on the surgical site depends on your procedure.
General guidelines:
•  Extraction, Crown Lengthening, Laser Therapy: 2 weeks following treatment
•  Tissue Grafting, Implant: 6 weeks following treatment
•  Remember to drink plenty of fluids.

Additional Instructions for Dental Implants

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In addition to the general surgical instructions, keep these things in mind following your implant procedure:

Medication:
•  Remember to follow all instructions and precautions regarding medications.
•  Avoid aspirin, alcohol and smoking. All can delay healing, and alcohol and aspirin can be harmful when mixed with prescription painkillers.

Recuperation and healing:
•  Rest quietly with your head elevated for the remainder of the day. Rest promotes rapid healing.
•  Be prepared to leave your dentures or partials out for approximately one week.
•  Begin rinsing with the prescription mouthwash (Peridex) 24 hours after your surgery. Do not use any other mouthwash.
•  Do not brush, floss or spit for 24 hours following surgery.
•  Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for two days. If you feel you must loosen food debris, you may rinse gently with weak salt water.
•  Begin to brush the NON-SURGICAL areas the day following surgery, remembering to rinse very gently.
•  You may begin to brush the surgical area two days after surgery. Before doing so, run your toothbrush under hot water to soften the bristles.

Special precautions:
•  Do not use ice packs following surgery. Some swelling is normal, but if it's excessive and accompanied by fever or pain, please call us immediately.
•  If you experience extensive bleeding, apply firm pressure to a moist gauze pad or tea bag to the area for 20 minutes. If it does not subside, give us a call.

Additional Instructions for Block Grafts

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In addition to the general surgical instructions, patients receiving block grafts should keep these things in mind:

Medication:
•  Remember to follow all instructions and precautions regarding medications.
•  Avoid aspirin, alcohol and smoking. All can delay healing, and alcohol and aspirin can be harmful when mixed with prescription painkillers.

Recuperation and healing:
•  As soon as possible, place an ice pack on your face over the surgical area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first six hours after surgery.
•  Rest quietly with your head up for the remainder of the day.
•  Be careful with your chin tape, because it's important that it stay on at least 24 hours following surgery. The tape will probably come off on its own.
•  Moist heat may be applied the day after surgery for added comfort.

Oral care:
•  Begin rinsing with the prescription mouthwash (Peridex) 24 hours after your surgery. Do not use any other mouthwash.
•  Do not brush, floss or spit for 24 hours following surgery.
•  Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for two days. If you feel you must loosen food debris, you may rinse gently with weak salt water.
•  Begin to brush the NON-SURGICAL areas the day following surgery, remembering to rinse very gently.
•  You may begin to brush the surgical area two days after surgery. Before doing so, run your toothbrush under hot water to soften the bristles.

Additional Instructions for Connective Tissue Grafts

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In addition to the general surgical instructions, keep these things in mind after your connective tissue graft:

Medication:
•  Remember to follow all instructions and precautions regarding medications.
•  Avoid aspirin, alcohol and smoking. All can delay healing, and alcohol and aspirin can be harmful when mixed with prescription painkillers.

Recuperation and healing:
•  Rest quietly with your head elevated for the remainder of the day.
•  As soon as possible, place an ice pack on your face over the surgical area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first six hours following surgery.
•  Moist heat may be applied the day after surgery for added comfort.
•  Do not touch your surgical sites for the first week. You could dislodge the healing tissue and compromise the success of the graft.
•  Do not pull your lip away to view the graft site.

Palatal stent:
•  If a palatal stent was provided, wear it for two days, removing it to clean and re-apply Orabase ointment.
•  Three days after surgery you can begin to leave the stent out, wearing it only when needed for comfort.
•  Approximately five days after surgery you may remove the stent completely.

Oral care:
•  Do not brush, floss, spit or suck through a straw for 24 hours following surgery.
•  Begin rinsing gently with the prescription mouthwash (Peridex) 24 hours after your surgery. Do not use any other mouthwash or salt water, as they will irritate the palate and delay healing.
•  Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for two days. If you feel you must loosen food debris, you may rinse gently with weak salt water.
•  Begin to brush the NON-SURGICAL areas the day following surgery, remembering to rinse very gently.
•  You may begin to brush the surgical area two days after surgery. Before doing so, run your toothbrush under hot water to soften the bristles.
•  You may also gently floss the area after the post-operative appointment.

Additional Instructions for Gingival Grafts

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In addition to the general surgical instructions, keep these things in mind following a free gingival graft:

Medication:
•  Remember to follow all instructions and precautions regarding medications.
•  Avoid aspirin, alcohol and smoking. All can delay healing, and alcohol and aspirin can be harmful when mixed with prescription painkillers.

Recuperation and healing:
•  Rest quietly with your head elevated for the remainder of the day.
•  As soon as possible, place an ice pack on your face over the surgical area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first six hours following surgery.
•  Moist heat may be applied the day after surgery for added comfort.
•  Do not touch your surgical sites for the first week. You could dislodge the healing tissue and compromise the success of the graft.
•  Do not pull your lip away to view the graft site.
•  Don't worry if your graft turns white, then pink. These color changes are a normal part of healing for the first few weeks.

Palatal stent:
•  If a palatal stent was provided, wear it for two days, removing it to clean and re-apply Orabase ointment.
•  Three days after surgery you can begin to leave the stent out, wearing it only when needed for comfort.
•  Approximately five days after surgery you may remove the stent completely.

Oral care:
•  Do not brush, floss, spit or suck through a straw for 24 hours following surgery.
•  Begin rinsing gently with the prescription mouthwash (Peridex) 24 hours after your surgery. Do not use any other mouthwash or salt water, as they will irritate the palate and delay healing.
•  Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for two days. If you feel you must loosen food debris, you may rinse gently with water.
•  Begin to brush the NON-SURGICAL areas the day following surgery, remembering to rinse very gently.
•  You may begin to brush the surgical area two days after surgery. Before doing so, run your toothbrush under hot water to soften the bristles.
•  You may also gently floss the area after the post-operative appointment.

Additional Instructions for Sinus Lift

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In addition to the general surgical instructions, sinus lift patients should keep these things in mind:

Medication:
•  Remember to follow all instructions and precautions regarding medications.
•  Avoid aspirin, alcohol and smoking. All can delay healing, and alcohol and aspirin can be harmful when mixed with prescription painkillers.
•  It's especially important to avoid any type of smoking while you're healing, as this will delay the process.

Recuperation and healing:
•  Rest quietly with your head elevated for the remainder of the day.
•  As soon as possible, place an ice pack on your face over the surgical area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first six hours following surgery.
•  Moist heat may be applied the day after surgery for added comfort.
•  Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing for the first 10 days.
•  Don't worry if you experience occasional bleeding through the nose, this is normal.
•  You may also experience bruising and swelling in the surgical site, as well as in the eyes, ears and neck. Your eye may even swell closed. Again, this is normal and you shouldn't be alarmed.
•  If fever accompanies swelling, please call us immediately.

Oral care:
•  Do not brush, floss, spit or suck through a straw for 24 hours following surgery.
•  Begin rinsing gently with the prescription mouthwash (Peridex) 24 hours after your surgery. Do not use any other mouthwash or salt water, as they will irritate the palate and delay healing.
•  Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for two days. If you feel you must loosen food debris, you may rinse gently with water.
•  Begin to brush the NON-SURGICAL areas the day following surgery, remembering to rinse very gently.
•  You may begin to brush the surgical area two days after surgery. Before doing so, run your toothbrush under hot water to soften the bristles.

Contact Us
Implant and Periodontal Associates Northwest

Richland Office-Bellerive Place
140 Gage Blvd, Suite 200
Richland, WA 99352

Phone:
509-940-0025
Fax:
509.460.4912

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Implant & Periodontal Associates - Richland, 140 Gage Boulevard, Richland, WA, 99352-8916 - Tags: periodontist Richland WA / Oral Surgery Richland WA / Periodontist Richland WA / 509-940-0025 / richland.ipanw.com / 6/22/2017