Instructions for a safe recovery

Post-Operative Instructions

We are committed to providing you with the highest quality of care before and after your procedure. To that end, please refer to some general postoperative guidelines below, and by all means, call us at any time to report any problem.

Don’t forget a responsible adult must accompany you and remain in our office to receive home care instructions on your behalf. Following the completion of the surgery and recovery period, this responsible adult must drive you home or accompany you in a taxi and must remain with the patient throughout the next 12 hours.

Managing discomfort and pain at home
Some degree of discomfort and pain may arise as the effect of local anesthesia subsides. Take the prescribed pain medicine and/or ibuprofen before the numbness wears off. Please read the pain medication insert for your maximum daily dose. Do not take ibuprofen if you cannot take aspirin products. Some pain medication can cause nausea and vomiting. It is very important that you have some food in your stomach before you take them. Be mindful not to disturb the area of the surgery.

Avoid vigorous chewing, excessive spitting, or rinsing as initial healing may be delayed, active bleeding restarted, or pathogens introduced.

Expect minor bleeding from the operative site
Minimal bleeding may continue throughout the first day. For the first hour, keep firm pressure on the area of surgery by biting down on the gauze sponge placed at the surgery site. If bleeding persists, continue pressure on a fresh sponge for an additional 30 minutes to an hour. Biting on a moist tea bag may help control persistent oozing from the surgical site. Tea has an ingredient that promotes blood clotting. Do not sleep or eat with gauze in your mouth. If active bleeding should recur at any time, carefully rinse your mouth with cold water and apply a fresh gauze sponge to the bleeding site. Firm pressure for 15-30 minutes usually controls the problem.
Swelling related to the surgical procedure
Usually, swelling develops during the first 12-24 hours following surgery, often increasing on the second to third day but should begin to subside by the third day. Swelling can be minimized a great deal by applying an ice pack on the side of your face for 30-45 minutes every hour while you are awake during the first 24 hours following the surgery unless you receive different instructions. Bags of frozen vegetables are very effective to use as ice bags. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Motrin or Advil, also help decrease swelling. Keep your head elevated for the first 3 to 5 days to keep the swelling to a minimum. Swelling may be greater in the morning when you first awaken.
Fluid and Diet is important
We suggest you start with clear fluids. Once your stomach has settled, you can advance to other fluids such as broth, soups, or juices. Also, avoid hot liquids until the numbness has worn off, and the bleeding has stopped. It is important to drink plenty of fluids.

Avoid using straws for several days as it may cause the blood clot to dislodge and delay the healing process.

Food selection is largely a matter of your choice. Soft, cool foods that require little or no chewing are most easily tolerated at this time. A nutritious diet throughout your healing process is most important to your comfort as hungry people become irritable and less able to deal with the discomfort which can follow surgery. Since you will be taking medication, it is important to remember that eating can prevent nausea associated with certain medications. Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, and/or yogurt supply excellent added nutrition.

Do not chew anything until the numbness wears off. Avoid nuts, popcorn, and any foods with seeds.

Take your prescribed medication
Take your antibiotics and follow your dosing schedule. It is important to take the antibiotics to completion.

Take any regularly scheduled medication (for diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) on your regular schedule unless advised to do otherwise by your surgeon.

Sinus precautions

If you had a surgery involving your sinus (i.e. sinus lift) or an extraction that is close to your sinus, please follow these additional instructions.

Avoid performing activities that cause unnecessary pressure on the sinus for at least 1 week following surgery. Avoid:

  • Blowing your nose. You may wipe your nose gently with tissues. Take an over the counter decongestant if necessary.
  • Sucking on a straw
  • Smoking
  • Rinsing your mouth vigorously
  • Sneezing. If you have to sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open.
  • Air travel (for at least 2 weeks after surgery)
  • Playing wind instruments.


You may experience some drainage from your sinus after surgery. This is common and will gradually decrease and stop.

If you feel airflow through the surgical site please contact the office for a follow-up appointment.

Oral hygiene after surgery
If prescribed to you, use the Peridex (Chlorohexidine 0.12%) mouth rinse 2-3 times a day after brushing. Swish for 60 seconds then spit it out. You may also rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution (1/2 tsp salt in 1 cup of water) several times daily.

On the day of surgery you may brush your teeth, but try to avoid the surgical site for at least 5 days. Avoid rinsing, or spitting the day of surgery.

Your sutures will dissolve on their own 1-3 weeks after the surgery. You may notice that they loosen after the swelling of your gum tissue decreases. This is completely normal.
Other considerations
Do not drive or operate any vehicle or drink alcohol for 24 hours following surgery if you have had intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, or if you are taking prescription pain medication or antibiotics.

Limit physical activity during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Overexertion may lead to postoperative bleeding and discomfort. When you lie down, keep your head elevated on a pillow.

Try to avoid smoking completely, as it tends to slow the healing process.

Should active bleeding persist, please call the M3L office immediately at (514) 395-9896.

Implantology and Maxillofacial Surgery Center

We accept new patients without a referral