Post-operative Information

Post-operative Information

Patients have an active role to play in their recovery after experiencing a dental procedure to promote safe and speedy recovery. On this page, we share instructions that we give to our patients following the most common treatments.

What to do after a tooth extraction

  • Do not rinse your mouth or spit for 24 hours after the extraction.
  • Do not eat or drink hot items, smoke or drink alcohol for the next 24 hours. You can consume cold or tepid fluids such as lukewarm soup, ice-cream, jelly etc.
  • Avoid doing strenuous work or physical exercise for the rest of the day.
  • If bleeding or fresh blood is coming out, place a damp ball of clean cotton wool or damp gauze on the tooth socket and bite firmly for at least 15 minutes or until bleeding stops.
  • Maintain a slightly elevated position in bed.

If pain persists after your extraction, take any analgesic medication that is usually effective on you such as – Paracetamol, ibuprofen etc. Follow the instructions on the medicine packet.

If in spite of following the above you still have problems, or have other queries, please give us a call or send us an email for further assistance.

What to do after implant surgery

Immediately after you leave the surgery

  • Take care while you are still numb to avoid inadvertently biting or otherwise injuring the numb parts of your mouth. If having a hot drink wait until it has cooled enough to avoid burning the mouth.
  • Wait until the local anaesthetic has worn off before eating anything.
  • As with all gum surgery, you can expect to have some mild discomfort from the area and some minor bleeding.
  • When the local anaesthetic has worn off you might need some painkillers. We normally give some in the surgery immediately before or after operating. Follow our instructions about painkiller use. Most post-operative pain can be effectively managed using Paracetamol or Ibuprofen; follow the instructions on the packet and if in doubt, get in touch.
  • To reduce swelling use an ice pack. Frozen peas are ideal for this; use a small bag of frozen peas, wrap in a damp face towel and apply to the face for ten minutes. Remove for ten minutes and apply the ice pack again. You should repeat the process after a couple of hours and at least once more in the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Sleep with an extra pillow to prop yourself up.
  • If you smoke, try to smoke as little as possible for the next 48 hours.

First three days after surgery

  • You will not be able to brush the teeth in that area for at least 7 days. Instead you will need to rinse the area with a mouthwash containing 0.2% Chlorhexidine digluconate for one full minute twice a day.
  • The face may swell and bruise; this is normal. Swelling is usually at its worst 2 days after the operation.
  • If the operation was on only one side of the mouth, then you may carefully eat as normal on the other side. If we have operated on both sides of the mouth you may well need to eat a soft diet, such as cooked fish, soups, mashed potatoes, yoghurt and so on.
  • Depending on the level of infection risk we may or may not have prescribed antibiotics. If we have prescribed antibiotics, it is imperative that you take them as directed.
  • Occasionally the wound may become infected by bacteria from your own mouth. If this is the case the operated area will start to feel significantly more uncomfortable two to three days after surgery. If you are concerned that you may have an infection, please contact us.

The first week after surgery

You will have some stitches in the gum which will be removed 7 to 14 days after surgery. You will need to return to the practice to have the stitches removed.

If you wear a denture, try to wear it as little as possible. We may need to adjust it so that it fits over the recently placed implant(s).

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