Call: (281) 440-3530
M. Todd Bonin, DDS General & Cosmetic Dentistry - Extractions/Oral Surgery, Houston Dentist

              Postoperative Instructions For Oral Surgery/Extractions



Swelling and bruising may increase during the first 48 hours following surgery. Swelling may last 4 to 5 days. The following measures will help to minimize and reduce swelling and bruising:


  1. ELEVATION - keep your head elevated and sleep on an extra pillow to help minimize swelling and bruising.

  2. ICE - ice will help cut down on swelling that takes place during the first 48 hours. Use an ice bag or cold pack wrapped in a towel on the outside of your face against the surgical area for 20 minutes out of an hour, rather than continuously, for the first 48 hours after surgery.

  3. HEAT - after the first 48 hours have passed, any swelling that may occur will already have done so and the swelling will go down slowly. Warm compresses will help to bring down the swelling. Use these 20 minutes out of each hour.



You may be given a prescription for pain medication or instructed to take over-the-counter medication.

It is important that medication be taken as directed. DO NOT TAKE ANY PAIN MEDICATION ON AN EMPTY STOMACH, as most pain medication will irritate the stomach. If you are given a prescription for pain medicine, you may find that within a day or two following surgery you do not need anything quite as strong, an over-the-counter medication will be adequate. You should notice decreasing discomfort every day. While you are taking pain medication you should avoid alcohol and use care when driving or operating machinery. Take your medication only as prescribed and directed by Dr. Bonin.

Refills for pain medication will be provided only during normal office hours, Monday through Thursday.



If you were given a prescription for Motrin keep in mind that this is a “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories”. Over the counter anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Aleve, non-prescription Motrin or Ibuprofen must not be taken with these. Do not anti-inflammatories if you take coumadin, warfarin, Plavix, or other blood thinners.



Patients are often given a prescription for antibiotics after surgery, but not always.  It is important that you take ALL of your antibiotics.



The blood clot on the surgical site may be lost, causing a dry socket (usually on the 3rd to 5th day). There will be persistent pain in the jaw area, often radiating toward the ear and forward along the jaw which may cause other teeth to ache. Please call the office to report these symptoms.



Bite firmly on the gauze. Change the gauze every ½ hour until it becomes blood-tinged saliva. It is not unusual to have blood-tinged saliva for 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Pick up some extra gauze at the pharmacy before your appointment or when you fill your prescription(s).



During the first stage of healing, a blood clot will form in the extraction site. In order for proper healing to occur, it is important that this blood clot be maintained. Therefore, YOU MAY NOT SMOKE OR USE A STRAW FOR 48 HOURS AFTER SURGERY. The suction created by using a straw will dislodge the clot and delay healing. Smoking will also delay healing. Also, do not spit or drink carbonated beverages.



Patients who have sedation may experience some memory loss following surgery. Because of this, a patient SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ALONE THE DAY OF SURGERY OR DRIVE A MOTOR VEHICLE. Do not drink any alcohol that day.



You may experience nausea or vomiting after surgery due to the anesthesia, medications, or blood you may have swallowed. If this should occur, try taking over-the-counter medication such as Maalox, Mylanta, or PeptoBismol. If the nausea and vomiting persist, call the office, 281-440-3530.



The day AFTER surgery you should begin rinsing after eating and before going to bed, with a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water or a warm salt water rinse to keep the surgical site clean. You should continue these rinses for 1 to 2 weeks or as long as there is an open area where food and bacteria can become trapped. The teeth and gums adjacent to the surgical site may be tender for a day or two following surgery. Avoid these areas during brushing and flossing until they become more comfortable.



You will told before you leave if you need to make suture removal appointment.  Some sutures will dissolve on their own. The sutures may take as long as 10 to 14 days to fully dissolve. Silk or other types might appear as “specks of pepper” between your teeth or on your gums. 



On the day of surgery, you should follow a liquid or soft diet, cold or lukewarm foods. AVOID HOT FOODS AND LIQUIDS. After the first 24 hours, you may resume a normal diet when comfortable.




You experience heavy bleeding or increased pain or swelling after the first 48 hours.

You develop a temperature over 101, or have persistent nausea and vomiting,

or have any concerns. After hours, PRESS 1, anytime during the general recorded message to send a message to Dr. Bonin.  Always leave two phone numbers, speak slowly and clearly, and your date of birth as well.  Dr. Bonin or an office staff member will call you back as soon as possible.