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480 West 800 North Orem, UT 84057-3745
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Orem, Saratoga Springs

Post Surgery Instructions

A man applying ice pack atOrem, UT

To Control Bleeding

Bite on the gauze for 1–2 hours. As soon as possible fill the prescriptions. Remove the gauze and have something to drink and eat (no chewing) (see DIET below). Take some pain medication (Ibuprofen, if it was prescribed to you) at this time. If it is still bleeding replace the gauze placing it over the surgical site and bite on it for another 1–2 hours. If all of the gauze has been used and you are still concerned about bleeding, moisten a BLACK TEA BAG (regular, not herbal) with water and place over the surgical site and bite on it for 1–2 hours. Expect a slight amount of oozing the first day. Drinking through a straw or smoking will create suction in the mouth and may pull the blood clot out increasing the bleeding and the chance of getting a dry socket.

To Control Swelling

As soon as you get home, place an ice pack over the area for 30 minutes at a time. Also suck on ice chips, Popsicles, or slushy drinks. This will help the first 24 to 48 hours. Keep the head elevated on a couple of pillows through the first night. If there is ever any new swelling after the first 48 hours contact the Doctor.


A soft diet of cool soft items such as clear, non-carbonated liquids, nutritional shakes, juices, instant breakfast, applesauce, Jell-O, pudding, yogurt, ice cream, are best the first day. Be careful not to chew while numb. After this, return to a normal diet as soon as possible. No nuts or popcorn until the sockets on the lower jaw have healed closed.


Take one ounce of carbonated drink, such as ginger ale, every quarter hour for 1 to 2 hours. Clear broth may also help. An over the counter syrup, EMETROL, can be purchased at most drug stores. Call the Doctor if the nausea does not resolve.

Starting Tomorrow

Dissolve one level teaspoon of salt in 12 ounces of warm water and rinse for approximately one minute 3 to 4 times a day for 1 to 2 weeks. The prescription mouth rinse should be started the evening of the procedure, or at the latest the next morning (if prescribed).

Swelling After 48 Hours

Moist heat from a hand towel soaked in warm water is best. A heating pad that can deliver moist heat can also be used. If there is any pain at the IV site moist heat is also best.

Stiff Jaw

Chew gum at intervals; apply moist heat to the area of stiffness. Any stiffness should improve.

Pain Medication

Initially follow the instructions given in “TO CONTROL BLEEDING”. The non-narcotic and narcotic pain meds can be alternated. Have food with the pain medications. If you have any questions or problems call 801.224.1200


Remember that there may be numbness the rest of the day. It should be worn off the next day. If the numbness persists the following day contact the Doctor.

Use of Irrigation Syringe and Home Treatment of Dry Socket

The irrigating syringe should not be used until the morning of the third day after surgery, per your Doctor’s instructions, to allow the blood clot to firmly attach to the walls of the sockets. Use lukewarm salt water and place the tip of the syringe down in the water and gently pull the plunger back to draw the salt water in to the barrel of the syringe. The tip of the syringe should then be placed slightly into the socket on the bottom. The socket will be found at the back outside corner of the last teeth on the bottom. To irrigate the top sockets, irrigate while running the tip of the syringe along the outside and backside to the last teeth on the top. Rinse until the water is clear and no food is still lodged in the sockets. This should be done at least once a day and can be done after every meal if desired. Continue rinsing the sockets daily until they heal closed. This may take 4–6 weeks. If there is any food that can’t be removed by this technique, call the office.

Dry Socket

Any pain that is significantly intensifying 3–5 days after the procedure may indicate a dry socket. If this occurs, take the pain medicine as prescribed. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water and gently rinse the sockets using the syringe and warm salt water. If it does not improve call the Doctor.

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480 West 800 North
Orem, UT 84057-3745

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(385) 375-3589

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