Operative Instructions

Pre-Operative Instructions for patient undergoing general anesthesia

  • You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for 8 hours prior to the procedure.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient, and be able to drive the patient home.
  • The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following anesthesia.
  • If you are pregnant, or believe you might be pregnant, please notify our office.

Post-Operative Instructions (After Surgery)

Sometimes the after effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all of the instructions may apply. However, when in doubt, please follow these guidelines or please do not hesitate to call our practice for clarification at 012 367 4242 or 012 333 6000 (emergencies after hours).

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have any questions about your progress, please do not hesitate to contact the practice or Radiotel (emergencies after hours).

Post-Operative Guidelines:

  • Medication – As prescribed.
  • First Hour – Bite down gently yet firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical sites, making sure they remain in place. Do not remove them for the first 20 min. If active bleeding or oozing continues, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 20 min. It is best to moisten the gauze with tap water to prevent sticking. The gauze may be changed thereafter as necessary.
  • Exercise Caution – Do not disturb the surgical area today. Do not rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects. You may brush your teeth gently. Do not smoke or participate in any physical activity for 5-7 days, this is detrimental for healing and preventing dry socket.
  • Persistent Bleeding – Intermittent oozing and bleeding overnight is normal. Bleeding should never be severe. If so, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between the teeth only and no pressure is being applied to the surgical site. If bleeding persists you may substitute a tea bag (soaked in very hot water, squeezed damp-dry,) for 20 min. If uncontrolled bleeding continues, please call our practice.
  • Swelling – Swelling is often associated with oral surgery. It can be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 hours after surgery. If you notice swelling 3-5 days after surgery, you may apply warm compresses to the skin.
  • Pain – Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. If you take the first pill before the anaesthetic has worn off, you should be able to manage any discomfort better. Take your pain medication with food. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within six hours after the local anaesthetic wears off, after that your need for medication should lessen. If you find you are taking large amounts of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our practice. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication for the weekend, you must call for a refill during weekday business hours. By day three, you should notice more comfort, although still swollen.
  • Diet – Avoid extremely hot foods. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is best to avoid foods like nuts, popcorn, etc. which may get lodged in the socket areas. The sooner you return to your normal diet, the sooner you will feel better, gain strength, and heal.
  • Sharp Edges – If you feel sharp edges or something hard in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling bony walls which once supported the extracted tooth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so. If pain or discomfort continues, please call the practice.
  • Oral Hygiene – Keeping your mouth clean after your surgery is essential. Gently rinse with warm salt water at least three times daily. You may brush your teeth gently. Do not use mouthwash for 3 days after surgery. If you are given a plastic irrigating syringe, do not use it for the first five days.

Empowering Smiles, Transforming Lives.

Driven by precision and compassion, our maxillofacial and oral surgeon specialises in enhancing both the aesthetics and functionality of the face and oral region.

Make an appointment