Post-Operative Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Pain Medications

It is possible to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You will be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. If necessary, you may take your pain medication more frequently than every 4-6 hours to stay ahead of the soreness. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

Our office recommends taking 2-3 Advil liqui-gels every 4-6 hours during the first 3-5 days to control pain and swelling. Please keep taking this medication regularly to help control swelling.  If you are unable to take Advil, you may susbtitute Tylenol Extra Strength for this regular regimen.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.

Antibiotics

Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.

Swelling

Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and typically peaks approximately 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling please follow these recommendations:

  • Do not exercise during the first 3-4 days after the procedure.
  • Elevate your head when lying down (use an extra pillow when sleeping).
  • Apply an ice pack to your cheek every every 20 minutes followed by a 20 minute break.  Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.

Bleeding

A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Elevate your head when lying down.
  • Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
  • Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists.

Dressing

Periodontal dressing / packing material (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing or part of the dressing comes off it is not an emergency.  If the dressing is uncomfortable, please call our office for direction.

Diet

Avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed until approved by Dr. Laudenbach.  Hot foods should be avoided and a soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.

Smoking

Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.

Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.

Rinsing

Our office recommends that you avoid rinsing during the first 2 weeks after your surgery.  Instead, we prescribe chlorhexidine antiseptic and ask that you apply to the surgical area with a cotton swab starting 48 hours after the procedure twice daily until the 2 week time-point.

Brushing

Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Post-Operative Evaluation and Suture Removal

In order to evaluate your progress and healing, we typically see patients at 1 or 2 weeks post-operatively for a brief suture removal and post-operative evaluation. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.

In most cases after surgery we will also look forward to seeing you back for a periodontal maintenance cleaning and an examination of tissue maturation about 6-8 weeks following the surgery.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at Philadelphia Office Phone Number 215-985-4337.