Post-Operative Instructions

When should I take my medications after surgery?
Can I take my medications together?
It’s two or three days after surgery and I have more swelling. Is that ok?
How long should I rinse for?
When can I smoke again?
How do I treat nausea or vomiting?
It’s the day after surgery and it’s still bleeding slightly. What should I do?
How can I prevent infection after surgery?
Can I drive after surgery?
Responsible use of narcotic pain medication?


When should I take my medications after surgery?
You can start your pain medication and antibiotics (if prescribed) as soon as you get home. You can take them together. It’s best to start the pain medication while you are still numb. This way it starts to take effect while the numbness gradually resolves, therefore keeping you comfortable.


Can I take my medications together?
Yes. There is no problem with taking your pain medication and antibiotics together. If you take other medications, you may restart. Those on Coumadin therapy who ceased taking it before surgery, may restart 24 hours after surgery.


It’s two or three days after surgery and I have more swelling. Is that ok?
Yes. Surgical swelling is expected with more complex procedures and it usually maximizes in 24 to 36 hours after surgery. Keep ice on face for first 24 hours to minimize swelling. After 24 hours ice no longer helps, but you may continue using it if it makes you more comfortable. Any swelling that occurs five days or beyond after surgery, may be indicative of a developing infection. In this case, contact us immediately.


How long should I rinse for?
You must maintain salt water rinses every 1-2 hours for at least two weeks. Inadequate rinsing and plaque retention is the number one reason for increase in pain, bleeding, and localized swelling. This can develop into infection. Avoid it by rinsing often and long.


When can I smoke again?
You must avoid smoking for at least two weeks after surgery. Smoking in first 72 hours can induce bleeding and increase risk of infection or dry socket. Smoking beyond 72 hours will slow down healing and increase risk of infection. Even smoking a little will cause harm.


How do I treat nausea or vomiting?
One ounce of carbonated water every hour for four to six hours will usually terminate nausea. Coca-cola syrup may also be taken, two tablespoons every four to six hours. Ginger ale or ginger tea also relieves nausea and vomiting. Follow this with mild tea or clear soup. If nausea persists, antihistamines or a Compazine suppository may be helpful. Call us for more information.


It’s the day after surgery and it’s still bleeding slightly. What should I do?
Place a moist tea bag and bite with pressure. Also, you may use just simple gauze with applied pressure. Avoid activity and just relax. Avoid rinsing for a few hours until the bleeding has stopped. Then start rinsing again, but very gently. Eat only soft or liquid diet. If bleeding persists by the second day after surgery, call Dr. Kazemi.


How can I prevent infection after surgery?

  • Take your antibiotics as prescribed and complete its course

  • Maintain oral rinses with salt water or water every 1-2 hours for the first week and every 2-3 hours for the second week. Rinsing is very important for the 10-14 days after surgery

  • Avoid smoking



Can I drive after surgery?
If you have had IV sedation, you can not drive after surgery and must be accompanied by an escort. We can arrange a taxi if you don’t have an escort available. If you have had nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or local anesthesia, you can certainly drive after surgery.


Responsible use of narcotic pain medication
Here are some guidelines on how to use narcotic pain medications responsibly to reap its benefits while minimizing its risks:

  • Narcotic pain medication are serious and can be habit-forming and should be used with great caution and supervision for minor patients

  • Use only the recommended dosage

  • If pain is mild to moderate, consider using over the counter non-narcotic pain medication such as Ibuprofen or Acetominophen

  • Limit narcotic pain medication use to 3-4 days only as necessary

  • Parental supervision for patients less than 18 is of paramount importance. Parents should monitor the narcotic pain medication usage and dispense them only as directed. Under no condition, should underage patients have complete possession of their narcotic pain pills and use them without supervision by parents or an older responsible person.

  • Patients with history of drug addition should inform their dentists of their prior history and inquire about alternative analgesics to narcotics which can cause relapse in their rehabilitation.