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Post Op Instructions

After your Surgery

Every patient recovers differently after surgery. Your cooperation with the following instructions will go a long way toward helping you have a smooth and uneventful post-operative course.

  • After surgery healing usually occurs quickly and without complication.
  • There is always a risk of infection in healing oral wounds. The risk of infection is increased with smoking and the placement of foreign objects into the mouth such as fingers or pencils.
  • The mouth should be kept clean by using a soft toothbrush to clean the teeth but avoiding the wound or extraction socket.
  • Please do not chew a numb lip or tongue as injury can result.
  • Any stitches in the mouth will be dissolvable and usually disappear within 10-14 days.
  • The most common complications are pain, swelling, bleeding and infection.

Here are some common symptoms and our recommendations on how to best reduce the impact.


After your procedure you should return home and rest quietly for the remainder of the day. Activity should be restricted to a minimum for the first 2-3 days. Strenuous work or exercise may promote bleeding. Under no circumstances are you to drive a car or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after a General Anaesthetic or IV Sedation.


Bleeding will be under control by the time you leave our Day Surgery or the hospital. If, in the event you leave the surgery with gauze packs in your mouth, they are to be removed within 10-15 minutes. Continued bleeding upon discharge is not normal, however, some oozing or blood-tinged saliva may persist for up to 24- 48 hours.

Should excessive bleeding occur, it may be controlled by placing a folded pad of gauze or clean dampened handkerchief directly over the bleeding area and pressure applied by biting firmly for 30 minutes. This procedure may need to be repeated several times. Always remove the pack from your mouth before going to sleep. If bleeding is excessive despite applying pressure with the gauze, contact the surgeon immediately for further instructions.

Sleeping with a couple of pillows with your head above the level of the heart for the first 2 post-operative nights will minimise bleeding and swelling. Do not sleep with packs in your mouth.

Post-operative Visit

A post-operative visit will be arranged for you. Dissolving stitches are used, which loosen and fall out of the gum in the surgical site. If non-dissolving stitches have been used the surgeon will advise of this and these will be removed at the time of your post-operative visit.

Often tooth extraction sites take 4-6 weeks to completely heal and the post-operative visit aims to check that this is occurring uneventfully.

If any problems occur prior to your scheduled post-operative visit, please call the office on 8272 7399 to arrange an earlier appointment and in case of an emergency contact the after-hours service number provided for each doctor leaving your name, number and details of the problem.

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