Post-operative Instructions

These instructions apply to the postoperative phase of your periodontal procedure, if applicable. They are designed to help you speed the healing response, minimize post-surgical complication and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Pain Medications

It is not unusual to have some degree of discomfort following your surgical procedure. You may have been given a prescription for medication to help with post-surgical discomfort. Please take your medications as directed in order to “stay ahead” of any anticipated discomfort.  As a general rule, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

As an alternative to prescription opioid medications, some patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol to be effective.   Discuss this with Dr. Culberson if you have not done so.

Note: When taking any prescribed opioid medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office or your pharmacist with any questions you may have.

Antibiotics

Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with birth control pill effectiveness.

Swelling

Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically last 2-4 days after the procedure. To minimize the incidence or degree of swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.

Bleeding

A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Elevate your head when lying down.
  • Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
  • Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists.

Don't Hesitate To Call

Please call our office at Fredericksburg Periodontist Phone Number 540-548-2605 with any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Culberson. You can also fill out our online form.

Dressing

The dressing (which acts as a bandage) may be used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off or is uncomfortable, please call the office for direction.

Diet

Avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids until Dr. Culberson sees you for the initial post-operative check-up.  A soft diet is recommended – nothing that cannot be squeezed between your fingers. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition and hydration is essential for feeling better, as well as for healing.

Smoking

Successful pre-operative smoking cessation is ideal, but as a minimum do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. Smoking significantly slows healing and can compromise results.

Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription opioid pain medications.

Rinsing

Do not rinse for the first 24 hours. After that, you may use a warm NaCl rinse or 50:50 H2O/H2O2 rinse.  Dr. Culberson may also prescribe an oral rinse with appropriate directions.

Brushing

Do not brush the surgical site(s). You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Suture Removal

If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at Fredericksburg Periodontist Phone Number 540-548-2605.