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Post-Op Instructions - Vienna, VA

Keep Your Smile Safe After Treatment 

When oral surgery is complete, our patients may still experience some general discomfort and other symptoms in the first few days afterward. This is all very normal and an essential part of the healing process! We've outlined what to expect below and some tips for how to take care of yourself or your family member at home. If you ever have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us directly. We're always happy to help put your mind at ease. 

Following Oral Surgery

Bite down on gauze immediately following the procedure. Leave gauze in place for 30 minutes and then remove it. Replace with additional gauze as needed for bleeding. DO NOT disturb wound in doing so, you may cause irritation or bleeding. Brush your teeth, as usual, being careful of the operative area. Wide opening and stretching exercises of the mouth are encouraged to avoid stiffness.


Keep your head elevated at all times.  Some bleeding is normal after surgical procedures.  If excessive, apply firm pressure to your gauze, placing it directly over the surgical site, and keep your mouth closed for 20 min.  If your bleeding doesn’t stop, please call our dental office.  Excessive spitting may prolong bleeding.


Take any prescribed pain medication as directed.  If you’re not allergic to ibuprofen, it may also be taken with your prescription, if necessary. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking your medication. Stop taking it as soon as possible to prevent side effects like nausea or dizziness.

Ice Pack

Applying an ice pack to your face after your procedure will help you minimize swelling. Keep the ice pack in place for 20-30 minutes, and then remove it for 20-30 minutes. Repeat as instructed. Ice should be applied for the first 24 hours after your procedure.


It’s not unusual for swelling to last three to four days following your oral surgery.

Mouth Rinses

Do not use any mouth rinses the day of your surgery.  A salt-water solution may be used four times daily starting the day after surgery.  Continue mouth rinses for one week.


Drink at least six large glasses of fluid every day for several days.  We recommend starting with a soft food diet and advancing from there.  We also encourage jaw exercises and chewing to speed recovery and reduce swelling.


Patients who normally bruise easily may develop some discoloration of the skin following surgical procedures.  This is not a significant complication.  Gently massaging the cheeks and swollen areas will speed recovery.


Most cases of nausea are caused by swallowing blood; however, drugs or pain medications can also cause nausea.  Eat sparingly and take small sips of any carbonated drinks.  If nausea persists, discontinue medication and notify our dental office.


The anesthetic is not what causes prolonged drowsiness or weakness; this is usually the pain medication taken afterward .  Discontinue strong pain medications as soon as possible and use ibuprofen (ex. Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (ex. Tylenol) if you’re not allergic to them.

We care about your health and wellbeing, even well after your procedure. If any difficulty or questions arise, please contact our dental office immediately.