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Post-Operative Instructions

Waiting area with chairs at Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery in Charlotte, NC.


•  Upon arriving home, lie down with your head elevated until the effects of the anesthetic are diminished.
•  On the way home, your driver can get you something cold and soft to eat, like a milkshake. Just remove gauze and spoon in. No straws for the whole week following your procedure.
•  Anesthetic effects vary by individual. Drowsiness may last for a short period of time or for several hours.
•  Plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Do not drive or operate mechanical equipment for 24 hours following surgery.


•  Bite down firmly on the gauze packs for 30 minutes to ensure that any post-operative bleeding stops. Change it every 30 minutes as needed.
•  Intermittent bleeding, oozing, or pink saliva is often present for several days depending on activity.
•  Repeated gauze pack placement is not required for this.
•  Bleeding should never be severe. If it is, reposition the gauze packs to ensure they are exerting pressure over the surgical areas.
•  Try biting on a tea bag for 30 minutes. Moisten the tea bag, squeeze damp-dry, wrap with moist gauze, and insert over the site.
•  If the bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.


•  Swelling is usually noticeable the morning after surgery, maximizes over the first 72 hours, and may last over a week.
•  Cold compresses (ice pack) help to minimize the amount of swelling over the first 48 hours.
•  Warm compresses (heating pad or warm washcloth) help to soothe tenderness and resolve swelling that has accumulated after the first 48 hours.

First 48 hours:
•  Apply a cold compress to the face over the surgical area while awake.
•  Alternate applications 30 minutes on, then 30 minutes off.

After 48 hours:
•  Apply a warm compress to the swollen areas. Alternate applications 30 minutes on, then 30 minutes off.
•  Hot showers, cheek massage, and jaw stretching exercises will help resolve swelling and limited jaw opening.


•  Prescription pain medication is usually provided to ensure adequate relief of post-operative discomfort.
•  Eat something 15-20 minutes prior to taking the medication to reduce the chance of nausea or stomach discomfort.
•  If not contraindicated or allergic to, try taking ibuprofen 600 mg every 4-6 hours in addition to the prescribed medication if you continue to have discomfort.
•  If you are experiencing any abnormal side effects, or having difficulty staying comfortable, please call our office.


•  Leave the surgical area undisturbed. Do not rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects.
•  Do not smoke (for at least 72 hours). Smoking is very detrimental to healing and commonly causes a “dry socket.”
•  Gently brush your teeth as usual. However, steer clear of the surgical sites.
•  Rinse your mouth 2-3 times daily (after every meal) with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water).
•  Do not use Listerine, Scope, or any other mouthwash containing high levels of alcohol.


•  Proper nourishment is very important to the healing process. Eating regularly will allow you to feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort, and heal faster.
•  Start with liquids or pureed foods (ice cream, yogurt, pudding, and soup). Advance to a normal diet as tolerated. Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, and popcorn that may irritate the surgical sites. Avoid extremely hot foods.
•  Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours after surgery or while taking pain medication.
•  Avoid use of a straw over the first week to reduce the risk of a “dry socket.”
•  If you are a diabetic, maintain as normal a diet as possible, monitor your blood sugar, and take your diabetic medication.


•  The first two days are generally the most uncomfortable, followed by gradual steady improvement. If you don’t see continued improvement or feel like you are getting worse, please call our office.
•  Sutures typically dissolve on their own over the first week.
•  Bruising may occur. It is usually limited to the cheek and neck near the surgical site and may take over a week to completely disappear.


•  Can occasionally occur after receiving anesthetic medications.
•  Usually pain medications are the cause, especially if they are taken on an empty stomach.

If you become nauseated:
•  Limit your intake to clear liquids. Avoid milk products.
•  Sip on some warm soda (Coke).
•  Use ibuprofen: 600 mg every 4-6 hours.
•  Please call the office if these measures are not helpful.

To request a consultation and learn more about our services, please request an appointment now. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health and smile!


10042 Park Cedar Dr, Suite B
Charlotte, NC 28210


527 S New Hope Rd
Gastonia, NC 28054

Steele Creek

10935 Winds Crossing Dr, Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28273

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Post Operative Instructions | Oral Surgeon Charlotte NC
To request a consultation and learn more about our services, please book an appointment now. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health and smile!
Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery, 10935 Winds Crossing Dr. Suite 400, Charlotte, NC 28273; (980) 332-7990;; 6/24/2024; Related Phrases: dental implants Charlotte NC;