Surgical Instructions

Pre-Op Instructions

Pre-operative Instructions for Patients Undergoing Intravenous Anesthesia:

  • You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for 8 hours prior to the appointment.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and be able to drive the patient home.
  • The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
  • Please wear loose fitting clothing with sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow, and low-heeled shoes. Hard contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
  • Prior to appointment apply Chap Stick to minimize cracking of the corners of your mouth.
  • The office stay the day of surgery is generally 45 minutes to one hour.
  • Remove all nail polish and acrylic/gel nails prior to your surgery. This is required so our equipment can monitor the amount of oxygen in your blood.
  • Take all of your medications as prescribed prior to your surgery unless told otherwise by Dr. Walcott. If you are an insulin dependant diabetic, please take half of your normal dose of insulin prior to your procedure.

The removal of impacted wisdom teeth and surgical extraction of teeth is quite different from the extraction of erupted teeth. The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:

  • The surgical area likely will swell.
  • Swelling peaks on the 2nd or 3rd post-operative day.
  • Trismus (stiffness) of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a period of days.
  • You may have a slight earache.
  • You may develop a sore throat.
  • Your other teeth may temporarily ache. This is referred pain and is a short-lived condition.
  • If the corners of the mouth are stretched out they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with Chap Stick or Vaseline.
  • There will be a space where the tooth was removed. After 24 hours this area should be rinsed following meals with warm salt water until it is healed. This cavity will gradually fill in with new tissue.
  • There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If temperature continues, notify us.
  • It is not unusual to develop bruising in the area of an extraction.

Please take all prescriptions as directed.

Women Please Note: Some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Please check with your pharmacist or physician.

Care of Mouth After Oral Surgery

  • Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after surgery.
  • Do not drink through a straw for 48 hours after your procedure.
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from socket or surgical area.
  • Use the ice packs that are given on the day of surgery on surgical area (side of face) for first 24 hours, apply ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Bags of frozen peas will work well.
  • If bleeding continues, you may run a plain tea bag under cool water, fold in half and bite on it as you would gauze for 20 minutes.
  • For mild discomfort take Tylenol or Ibuprofen every three to four hours.
  • For severe pain use the prescription given to you.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. (Do not use a straw).
  • If the muscles of the jaw become stiff, chewing gum at intervals will help relax the muscles, as well as the use of warm, moist heat to the outside of your face over these muscles.
  • After the first post-operative day, use a warm, salt-water rinse following meals for the first week to flush out particles of food and debris which may lodge in the surgical area. (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Mouthwash can substitute the salt for better taste and is recommended.)
  • Diet may consist of soft foods which can be easily chewed and swallowed. No seeds, nuts, rice, popcorn, etc.
  • A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Applying pressure to the surgical area using small, rolled gauze controls bleeding. Bite firmly on the gauze for 30-45 minutes. This should be sufficient but extra gauze is provided. After that time remove the gauze and then you may eat and/or drink. If bleeding persists, a moist teabag may be placed in the area of bleeding. Bite with firm pressure for an additional 30-45 minutes. This will aid in clotting blood. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding still persists call our office.
  • We suggest that you do not smoke for at least five days after surgery. Nicotine may break down the blood clot and cause a “Dry-Socket” (which is a very painful condition).

Feel free to contact us if any doubt arises as to your progress and recovery.

Post-Op Instructions

What you should do following extractions and other oral surgery procedures:

  • A certain amount of bleeding, pain, and swelling is normal. Reduce your activity as much as possible for several hours. Avoid eating, drinking, and unnecessary talking, while gauze is in place. Do not rinse your mouth for 24 hours. These activities may hinder formation of a blood clot, which is necessary for proper healing.
  • Do not be alarmed if your vision is blurred for a time following anesthesia or if a “black and blue” bruise should appear at the site of an injection. The arm also may temporarily be black and blue, swollen and tender to touch due to the IV.
    Follow the simple instructions below to minimize complications and help ensure prompt recovery.
  • Oral hygiene is important.
  • 24 hours after surgery, rinse mouth gently with a half teaspoonful of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water. Repeat after every meal or snack for seven days. Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area and thus helps prevent infection and promote healing. Brush tongue with a dry toothbrush to keep bacteria growth down, but be careful not to touch the extraction site.
  • Resume your regular tooth brushing as soon as possible after surgery, but avoid disturbing the surgical site so as not to loosen or remove the blood clot.
  • Maintain a proper diet.
  • Have your meals at your usual times. Eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids with and in between meals. Have what you wish, but be careful not to disturb the blood clot. Add solid foods to your diet as soon as they are comfortable to chew.
  • You should experience no trouble if you follow the instructions and suggestions as outlined. But if you should have any problems such as excessive bleeding, pain, or difficulty in opening your mouth, call our office immediately for further instructions or additional treatment.
  • Remember your follow-up visit. It is advisable that you return to our office for a postoperative visit to make sure healing is progressing satisfactorily. A follow-up visit will be scheduled on the day of your surgery. In the meantime, maintain a healthy diet, follow the instructions given to you, and take good care of the extraction area.