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Post Op Instructions

Oral Surgery Procedures


A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Place a gauze pad over the area and bite firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened, squeeze dried tea bag for 60 minutes, and repeat as necessary. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, sit upright and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further assistance.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of face in not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on in 15 minute intervals while you are awake. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.


For moderate pain – Motrin 200 mg, 2 pills every 4-6 hours or Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) 225 mg, 2 pills every 8-12 hours. For severe pain, take the narcotic prescribed as directed. The narcotic pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more everyday. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.


DO NOT SMOKE FOR 4-5 DAYS AFTER THE PROCEDURE. Once the numbness wears off do not use straws. Drink from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical sites. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.

Keep the Mouth Clean

No rinsing or spitting of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day, especially after eating, with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.


Immediate Removable Full or Partial Denture Procedures




If antibiotics and / or pain medication was prescribed, you should take them according to the directions on the prescription bottle. Do not consume alcoholic beverages and do not smoke for 4-5 days after surgery.


Do not consume hot liquids for 72 hours. Do not try to eat solid food until the local anesthetic wears off. Do not use a straw when taking liquids. The suction action may dislodge the clot. A nutritious diet throughout your healing stage is important to your comfort, temperament, and healing. The diet for the first 4 days should be relatively soft foods.


After the extractions, your interim denture will be placed and you will be asked to keep it in place for 24 hours. The denture acts as a pressure bandage to help bleeding subside. Some oozing is to be expected.

Only if profuse bleeding occurs, will you need to remove the interim denture in the first 24 hours. At this point, you will need to place damp gauze packs or tea bags over the surgical area. Biting down with light pressure on the dampened gauze pack or tea bag, repeated in 30 minute intervals, should control bleeding. Once bleeding is controlled, replace the interim denture. Once again, some oozing is to be expected for the first couple of days.

If profuse bleeding is still occurring 4-5 hours later, and the above measures have been taken, call this office immediately.

Do not forcefully swish when rinsing as this can dislodge blood clots that have formed.

Do not exercise for 24-48 hours. Strenuous activity will increase your blood pressure and may dislodge formed blood clots.


Swelling is part of the healing process and can be expected for several days. Apply ice packs at 15 minute intervals to reduce swelling the day of surgery. After 72 hours, light heat will relieve the swelling.


When you should notify Dr. Mills:

  • If profuse bleeding continues after 4-5 hours of applied pressure.
  • If pain or swelling increase after the third day.
  • If you had sutures placed and they become loose prior to the third day.
  • If you body temperature remains higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit taken orally after the third day.
  • If you have any symptoms which may indicate a reaction or allergy to the medications, such as:
    • Skin rash
    • Hives
    • Elevated temperature
    • Increased or erratic heart rate
    • Nausea / Vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Blurred vision

Adapting to Dentures

The early weeks of denture wearing can be quite a challenge. You may try various finger positions and ways to dislodge your denture (i.e. pulling on only the left or right side of the denture to remove it). Also try placing your thumb against the front teeth and press upward and outward toward your nose. Soon you will be able to place and remove your denture without even thinking about it. To remove a lower denture, slowly pull on the denture while applying a rocking motion.

Eating will take practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent dentures from tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time.

Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out load and repeating troublesome words will help. Reading the newspaper out load is the best practice or try singing in the car. If your dentures “click” while you are talking, speak more slowly. You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough, or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If a speaking problem persists, an adjustment may be needed.

Caring for your Dentures

Dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped even a few inches. Stand over a folded towel or a basin of water when handling dentures. When you are not wearing them, store your dentures away from children and pets. Dogs love to chew on dentures.

Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps your mouth stay healthy. It is best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used. Avoid using hard bristle brushes that can damage dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the denture and be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments. In between brushings, rinse your denture after every meal.

When cleaning, we recommend a denture cleanser. These can be found at any grocery store or pharmacy. Household cleansers may be too abrasive for your dentures and should not be used. Also, avoid using bleach as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture.

Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn, so they do not dry out or lose their shape. Never place dentures in hot water, as this can cause them to warp.

Due to the healing process and the change of bone contours, several follow-up adjustment appointments will be needed. Remember this is an interim denture and you cannot expect a perfect fit or look. Relines may be necessary and the cost for this is NOT included in the initial denture fee. Never attempt to adjust or repair the denture yourself. Any adjustments needed are at no charge to you.

Caring for your Mouth and Gums

During the first night, you may be advised to wear your dentures while you sleep. After the initial adjustment period, you may be instructed to remove the dentures before going to bed. This allows the gum tissue to rest and promotes oral heath. Generally, it is not desirable that the tissues be constantly covered by denture material.

Once your gums have sufficiently healed from surgery, it is important to continue brushing. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft bristled brush. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay. If you are wearing a partial denture, be sure to remove it before you brush your natural teeth.

Remember: No question is too small and we are just a phone call away.

What our patients are saying about us.

5 STARS! ! Not only is Dr. Mills very professional and an excellent dentist,but his staff is right up there along with him in professionalism and concern for each individual patient. You could not ask for a more caring staff headed by a well-qualified dentist who is excellent when an anxious patient has to undergo oral surgery by having 8 or more teeth extracted in preparation for dentures. I cannot thank my married daughtger enough for telling my husband and I about Dr. Mills and his wonderful staff! Rating: ***** 5 STARS!!!!!
- Barbara N.

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