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About Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
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Pre-Operative Instructions
Post-Operative Instructions

post-operative instructions

Anesthesia  |   Extractions   |   Sinus Precautions   |   Emergencies

Follow all post-operative instructions provided to reduce possible complications and facilitate your recovery.

General Anesthesia and IV Sedation

  • Do not drive for 24 hours after surgery. You may feel alert but your fine motor skills and reflexes will be diminished.
  • Do not operate machinery or perform any tasks requiring fine motor skills and reflexes for the remainder of the day and as long as you are taking narcotic medication.
  • Avoid making important decisions.
  • Allergic reactions are rare with the medications being used. However, if you feel that something is abnormal, contact our office immediately.
  • A responsible adult should stay with you for the remainder of the day following the sedation.

Extractions (including Wisdom Teeth)

  • Bite firmly on the gauze pack for 30 minutes. Avoid talking.  If bleeding continues, moisten the extra gauze provided and bite down for an additional 30 minutes. Repeat this until the bleeding stops. If you run out of gauze, use a tea bag.
  • Expect some bleeding or oozing the first few days. If the bleeding or oozing is excessive or continuous after multiple attempts at biting on gauze, call our office for additional instructions.
  • Do not rinse, brush or spit today. Begin with gentle warm salt-water rinses and brushing the morning after surgery. Do this several times daily until the sockets heal completely.
  • Alternate cold compresses to the side of the face for 48 hours after surgery. After 48 hours, switch to warm compresses until the surgical swelling resolves.
  • Take all medications as prescribed. If you were prescribed an antibiotic, it must be completed. Take your non-narcotic pain medication (usually Motrin or Tylenol) with food before the numbness wears off. A narcotic pain medication (Percocet or Tylenol #3) is often prescribed to supplement the Motrin or Tylenol. Take one tablet if you still experience discomfort 30 minutes after you have taken the Motrin or Tylenol. For severe pain, take 2 tablets. If 30 minutes after taking the Motrin or Tylenol, you notice no discomfort, DO NOT take the narcotic medication.
  • Do not operate machinery or power tools for as long as you are taking narcotic medication.
  • Dry socket can occur after 3rd molar removal. It is more common in smokers and with difficult impacted teeth. Intense pain 3-4 days after the surgery not relieved by medication is often the beginning of a dry socket. It requires an office visit for evaluation.
  • Infections are possible after any type of surgery. This could occur even weeks to months after the procedure. If you notice pain or swelling a few weeks after surgery, please call to schedule an evaluation.
  • No Smoking.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but NO alcoholic or caffeinated beverages. Do not use a straw. Drink from a cup. A well-balanced diet will aid in the healing process. Advance your diet as much as you can tolerate. Begin with a soft diet that won't require much chewing. A regular diet can be started when the tissues have healed and there is no pain with chewing. This is generally not sooner than 1 week.
  • Soreness of the jaw muscles is very common. If this persists, place warm compresses on the face and continue with the soft diet. Treat this like you would a sprained ankle. Rest the muscles.
  • Plan ahead for more pain medicine. Call our office before 5:00 PM weekdays to request a new prescription.

Remember our discussion before the procedure. Expect swelling and discomfort for a number of days, in particular the day following surgery. Be patient with the wounds; they take time to heal.

Sinus Precautions
After removal of some upper back molars, a thin layer of bone or sinus membrane remains in place. This thin bone and/or sinus membrane is essential in separating the sinus cavity from the oral cavity. Until the socket heals, you must follow precautionary steps to prevent breakage of the bone or rupture of the membrane, resulting in a sinus exposure. To minimize your chances of a sinus exposure, do the following:

  • Avoid sneezing or coughing with your mouth closed
  • Avoid blowing your nose
  • Do NOT smoke
  • Take medication as prescribed

The architecture of some sinus cavities lend themselves to exposure after removal of upper back teeth. A small exposure will often heal by itself. Larger exposures may require surgical closure.

For emergencies outside office hours, please go to the nearest emergency room and ask someone to contact Dr. Huynh at (951) 354-MOMS (6667).

If you have any questions or to request post-operative instructions for other procedures, please contact our office.




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