Pre-Operative & Post-Operative Instructions

If you are undergoing any oral surgery procedure, it’s important that you know both how to prepare for treatment and how to take care of yourself after treatment. We provide all of our patients with pre- and post-operative instructions to help them get an idea of what to expect before and after surgery. The pre-operative instructions contain general guidelines to follow to help us make sure your surgery goes smoothly, without any complications.

Your post-operative instructions will be specific to the procedure you undergo and contain more detailed guidelines. Following these instructions will ensure you have a quick and comfortable recovery and receive optimal results. We ask that all of our patients review all relevant instructions before their procedure so that they can call our office and have any questions answers ahead of time.

 

To review instructions, click on the corresponding bar and it will expand.

Directions To Prepare For Intravenous Anesthesia

Patient’s who desire to receive IV anesthesia (be asleep) for their surgery must come with an empty stomach and an escort. This is essential for your safety and welfare. Please carefully read and follow these directions:

No solid foods for 6 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. Solid foods include milk products of any kind and non-clear juices like orange or pineapple

Small amounts of clear liquids may be consumed until 2 (two) hours before your appointment. Examples include water, soda pop, apple, grape, or cranberry juice and black coffee or tea (no creamer).

Nothing, including water, can be taken during the 2 (two) hours just before your surgery or you will not be able to receive IV anesthesia

Medicines that you use regularly should be taken at the normally scheduled time with a sip of water, unless you are directed differently by Dr. Hicks

Parent / Guardian: Patients who are under the age of 18 or are handicapped must have a parent or legal guardian attend their consultation and surgery appointments.

Escorts are required for all patients who will be receiving intravenous anesthesia. Dr. Hicks expects them to remain in the office to receive directions in caring for the patient they are to be assisting postoperatively.

Diabetic Patients: If you are planning on having your anesthesia and surgery on the same day as your consultation, please call Dr. Hicks for directions prior to your scheduled appointment to modify your diabetic medicine regiment.

Blood Thinners: Patients taking Coumadin, Warfarin, or Plavix (or a generic brand) must notify Dr. Hicks at least one week prior to your appointment for directions and laboratory studies that may be needed prior to your surgery.

Clothing: Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing the day of your anesthesia and surgery. Short sleeves are helpful.

Illness: If you develop an illness such as the flu, a cold, or have a cough or runny nose please call to reschedule your appointment

Post-Anesthesia: Patients who have been given IV anesthesia medications should not operate any vehicle or machinery, or make any business decisions for 24 hours.

Directions for Optimal Healing after Tooth Extractions

Rest and Nutritious Foods: Resting and eating nutritious foods are essential for healing to begin and progress normally. Soft foods are best to avoid injury to the surgical site. Keep foods away from the surgical site. High calorie and high protein foods are ideal for the first few days. Drink extra non-carbonated fluids to avoid dehydration, especially the day of your surgery. Do not use a straw. Avoid eating hot foods while your
mouth is still numb to avoid burns.

Bleeding: A gauze bandage will have been placed by the surgery team. Leave this in place for about 10 minutes and then remove and discard. It is expected that a wound in the mouth will ooze small amounts of blood for 12-24 hours which will make your saliva tinged red in color. Gauze should not be replaced unless you experience active bleeding which will be evident by blood clots forming in your mouth. If this should occur, rinse your mouth gently with ice water and then place new gauze, moistened with water, over the area of
bleeding and apply continuous pressure by biting for 10 minutes.

Keep your fingers and tongue away from the area where the teeth were removed.

Control your Pain: Pain is controlled best when you take your pain medicines prior to the local anesthesia wearing off. It is wise to always eat some food prior to taking narcotic pain medicines. Take your medicine as prescribed the first day- every four to six hours. You should realize that no pain medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable. You may also use Ibuprofen as a second pain
medicine. Follow the Ibuprofen label directions. Do not take extra Tylenol,(acetaminophen) as it is already
mixed with your narcotic pain medication. If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us.

Swelling: Keep your head elevated when laying down or sleeping (Head above Heart). This will help minimize your swelling from the surgery. Swelling will be proportionate to your surgery, i.e.; bigger surgery=bigger swelling. It will be at its greatest on the 3rd and 4th day after surgery.

Sutures, if used, will usually dissolve after 7-10 days.

Cleaning Your Mouth: Oral hygiene may begin the morning after your surgery. Gently clean your teeth with a soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Do not brush the surgical site, only the teeth next to it. You should be very gentle but thorough on the teeth next to the surgical site. Avoid ultrasonic or power brushes for the first week after surgery.

Antibiotic Mouth Rinse: If you are prescribed Chlorhexidine Gluconate, commonly called Peridex, you should begin using it the morning after surgery following gently cleaning your teeth. Very gently rinse it around your mouth and spit it out carefully. This will need to be done each morning and at bedtime for 7-10 days. Never rinse your mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide.

Directions for Optimal Healing after Implant Placement

Rest and Nutritious Foods: Resting and eating nutritious foods are essential for healing to begin and progress normally. Soft foods are best to avoid injury to the surgical site. Keep food away from the surgical site. High calorie and high protein foods are ideal for the first few days. Drink extra non-carbonated fluids to avoid dehydration, especially the day of your surgery. Do not use a straw and avoid hot foods while still numb from the anesthesia.

Control your Pain: Pain control is best obtained and maintained when you use your pain medicines prior to the local anesthesia wearing off. It is wise to eat some food prior to the taking this medicine as well. Take your medicine on a scheduled basis the first day-every four to six hours. You should realize that no pain medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable. You may also use Ibuprofen as a second pain medicine. Follow the Ibuprofen label directions. Do not take extra Tylenol, it is already mixed with your narcotic pain medication. If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us.

Cleaning Your MouthOral hygiene may begin the morning after your surgery. Gently clean your teeth with a soft bristled tooth brush and tooth paste. Do not brush the surgical site, only the teeth next to it. You should be very gentle but thorough on the teeth next to the surgical site. If you are prescribed Peridex use it gently. Avoid ultrasonic or power brushes for the first week after surgery.

Antibiotic Mouth Rinse: If you are prescribed Chlorhexidine Gluconate, commonly called Peridex, you should begin using it the morning after surgery following gently cleaning your teeth. Very gently rinse it around your mouth and spit it out carefully. This will need to be done each morning and at bedtime for 7-10 days. Never rinse your mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide.

The Do Nots: Keep your fingers out of your mouth. There is no need to be touching or feeling the surgical site. Keep your tongue away as well. The tension and pressure from fingers and /or the tongue can disrupt the healing process and may affect the desired outcome. Never rinse your mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide or use mouthwash like Listerine or Scope. All three of these will hurt the healing tissue and besides that they cause increased pain.
Never chew food on the implant during the healing period. This will disturb the bone healing to the implant surface and will lead to failure. The healing period extends from your surgery until the crown is placed. Once the crown is placed by your restorative dentist you can chew on it until your heart is content, which was the whole reason we provided this therapy for you.

Escort Instructions for Patients Post-Anesthesia Care

The effects of Intravenous Anesthesia can persist up to twelve hours after a patient is discharged from the office. Observation and assistance from the patients escort is essential for their full recovery and speedy return to normal activities. We thank you for assisting this patient.

Assist the Patient with a Steady Hand: The patients balance and reaction time will be impaired. You will need to provide direct assistance by holding the patient by the arm as you move them from your vehicle to their home. This is especially important on stairs or uneven surfaces.

Keep the patient under observation for at least three hours after anesthesia and surgery.

Assist the patient in following the post-operative directions for medication use, dietary intake, and resting position.

Remind the patient not to drive, operate machinery, or make any business decisions for 24 hours.

Directions for Optimal Healing after Sinus Surgery

Rest and Nutritious Foods: Resting and eating nutritious foods is essential for healing to begin and progress normally. Soft foods are best to avoid injury to the surgical site. Keep food away from the surgical site. High calorie and high protein foods are ideal for the first few days. Drink extra non-carbonated fluids to avoid dehydration, especially the day of surgery. Do not use a straw and avoid hot foods while still numb from the
anesthesia.

Cautions: Do not blow your nose for 2-3 weeks. Do not try to suppress a sneeze. If you have a sneeze coming on open your mouth and let it go. Do not use a straw. Smoking will decrease your healing ability. Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for two weeks. Never use Hydrogen Peroxide as an oral rinse.

Control your Pain: Pain control is best obtained and maintained when you use your pain medicines prior to the local anesthesia wearing off. It is wise to eat some food prior to the taking this medicine as well. Take your medicine on a scheduled basis the first day-every four to six hours. You should realize that no pain medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable. You may also use
Ibuprofen as a second pain medicine. Follow the Ibuprofen label directions. Do not take extra Tylenol; it is already mixed with your narcotic pain medication. If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us.

If you are prescribed an antibiotic use it as directed until it is gone.

Directions for Optimal Healing after Oral Biopsy

Rest and Nutritious Foods: Resting and eating nutritious foods are essential for healing to begin and progress normally. Soft foods are best to avoid injury to the surgical site. Keep food away from the surgical site. High calorie and high protein foods are ideal for the first few days. Drink extra non-carbonated fluids to avoid dehydration, especially the day of surgery. Do not use a straw and avoid hot foods while still numb from the anesthesia.

Bleeding: The majority of surgical sites for biopsy will be closed with dissolvable sutures. This diminishes the potential for bleeding. However, oozing of blood from the site will occur for 12-24 hours, which will cause your saliva to be tinged red. It is best to keep your fingers and tongue away from this site to avoid further bleeding or disrupting the healing.

Control your Pain: Pain control is best obtained and maintained when you use your pain medicines prior to the local anesthesia wearing off. It is wise to eat some food prior to the taking this medicine. Take your medicine on a scheduled basis the first day-every four to six hours. You should realize that no pain medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable. You may also use Ibuprofen as a second pain medicine. Follow the Ibuprofen label directions. Do not take extra Tylenol, it is already mixed with your narcotic pain medication. If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us.

Cleaning Your Mouth: Oral hygiene may begin the morning after your surgery. If the surgical site is next to the teeth, gently brush them with a soft bristled brush. Avoid ultrasonic or powered brushes for one week. Avoid mouthwash that contains high amounts of alcohol for 10 days (Listerine or Scope). Never use Hydrogen Peroxide as a mouth rinse.

Directions for Optimal Healing after Face/Skin Biopsy

Rest and Nutritious Foods: Resting and eating nutritious foods are essential for healing to begin and progress normally. High calorie and high protein foods are ideal for the first few days.

Bleeding: The majority of skin biopsy sites will be closed with sutures. Some sutures will be under the skin and some on the surface. These will help control any bleeding. A small amount of ooze can come out of the incision line and will dry and clot. If bleeding persists apply gentle pressure over the site with a bandage and call the office. Keep your fingers away from the site, especially the fingernail.

Control your PainPain control is best obtained and maintained when you use your pain medicines prior to the local anesthesia wearing off. It is wise to eat some food prior to the taking this medicine as well. Take your medicine on a scheduled basis the first day-every four to six hours. You should realize that no pain
medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable. You may also use Ibuprofen as a second pain medicine. Follow the Ibuprofen label directions. Do not take extra Tylenol; it is already mixed with your narcotic pain medication. If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us.

Skin Care and Hygiene: Keep the surgical area dry and clean for the first 3-4 days. If white bandaging strips were applied (Steri-Strips) keep these dry for 3-4 days as well. They will help take the tension from the incision site.

If no bandages were used take a Q-tip and dip it in Hydrogen Peroxide and clean the incision line, starting the
night of surgery. Remove any dried blood and then cover the area with a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. This should be done every morning and evening for 5-6 days then discontinue this practice. You may have quick showers and gently clean with a wash cloth and mild soap after 3-4 days. Quickly dry off afterward, do not let
the water cover the incision for long periods of time for the first 10 days.

Avoid placing makeup on the surgical site for 2 weeks.

If you are going out in the sun, protect the surgical site with a hat for shade. Sunscreen should only be used after 10 days from your surgery and should be used for the next six months when going out in the sun to minimize scarring.

Suture Removal: If skin surface sutures have been placed they will need to be removed 5 to 6 days postoperatively.

Directions for Optimal Healing After Jaw or Facial Fractures

Rest and Nutritious Foods:  Resting and eating nutritious foods are essential for healing to begin and progress normally.  High calorie and high protein foods are ideal for the first few days.  Drink extra non-carbonated fluids to avoid dehydration, especially the day of your surgery.  Avoid hot foods while still numb from the anesthesia.  You may be on a liquid diet because your jaws are wired together.  If so, you will need 4-6 meals per day to meet your nutritional requirements.  Liquid supplements like Ensure are an extra help.  If your jaws are not wired together you should eat a soft diet, nothing firmer than scrambled eggs or pasta type foods for the next four weeks.

Control your Pain:  Pain control is best obtained and maintained when you use your pain medicines prior to the local anesthesia wearing off.  It is wise to eat some food prior to the taking this medicine as well.  Take your medicine on a scheduled basis the first day-every four to six hours.  You should realize that no pain medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable.  You may also use Ibuprofen as a second pain medicine.  Follow the Ibuprofen label directions.  Do not take extra Tylenol; it is already mixed with your narcotic pain medication.  If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us. If you are prescribed an antibiotic use it as directed until it is gone.

Oral and Facial Hygiene:  Oral hygiene is essential to help avoid infections.  If your teeth are wired together you can only clean the outside of your teeth.  Brushing twice per day is essential and should include teeth and wires around the teeth too.  Water rinses can be used after each meal.  Use your antibiotic mouth wash twice per day after brushing.  Do not use ultrasonic or powered brushes for two weeks.
If you have facial lacerations or skin incisions they should be cleaned twice daily with a Q-tip dipped in Hydrogen Peroxide.  Do this to remove any clotted or dried blood.  Then cover the wound with a thin layer of antibiotic ointment.  This cleaning practice should be done for the first week and then discontinue it. .  Those placed on the skin will need to be removed 5-6 days after your surgery.

Swelling:  Keep your head elevated while laying down or sleeping (Head above Heart). This will help minimize your swelling from the surgery.  Swelling will be experienced to the magnitude of your surgery, bigger trauma=bigger surgery=bigger swelling.  It will be at its greatest on day 3-4 after surgery.

Activity:  You must be cautious to avoid further injury to your jaws and face.  Bumps from others may cause movement of your fractured bones and then require further surgery.  You may return to work after your strength is adequate and you are not taking narcotic pain medicines.  If you desire to exercise, a stationary bike can be used after one week and running or jogging after three weeks.  No contact sports should be played for three months.

Directions for Optimal Healing after Orthognathic Surgery

Rest and Nutritious Foods: Resting and eating nutritious foods are essential for healing to begin and progress normally. Soft foods are best to avoid injury to the surgical site. Keep food away from the surgical site. High calorie and high protein foods are ideal for the first few days. Drink extra non-carbonated fluids to avoid dehydration, especially the day of your surgery. Avoid hot foods while still numb from the anesthesia or surgery.
You will be eating a non-chew diet. No chewing is essential for 4-6 weeks. If your jaws are wired together you will be eating a liquid diet and will need 4-6 meals per day to meet your nutrition needs.

Bleeding: Blood will ooze from the oral incisions for 1-2 days following surgery. Some bleeding may also come from the nose if upper jaw surgery was performed. Use your nasal spray (Afrin) for nose bleeding. A gauze dressing may be helpful under the nose as well. After several days some tea colored fluid will be draining from the sinuses and come out the nose.

Swelling: This is a natural process after major surgery and will be related to the extent of surgery. Keep your head above heart level when sleeping or reclining. Maximal swelling will be on the 3-4 day. Ice packs or heat packs, as you desire, may be used.

Hygiene: Oral hygiene done well can reduce risk of infection. Clean your teeth, braces and stent carefully and
thoroughly twice daily. Rinse your mouth with warm water after each meal. Use your antibiotic mouth wash (Peridex) twice daily after brushing. Never use Hydrogen Peroxide or pressure water cleaning instruments.

Control your Pain: Pain control is best obtained and maintained when you use your pain medicines on a regular basis for the first two or three days. It is wise to eat some food prior to the taking this medicine. Take your medicine on a scheduled basis the first few days-every four to six hours. You should realize that no pain medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable. You may also use Ibuprofen as a second pain medicine. Follow the Ibuprofen label directions. Do not take extra Tylenol; it is already mixed with your narcotic pain medication. If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us.

If you are prescribed an antibiotic use it as directed until it is gone.

ActivityYou must be cautious to avoid injury to your jaws and face. Bumps from others may cause movement at the surgery site and require further surgery. You may return to work after your strength is adequate and you are not taking narcotic pain medicines. If you desire to exercise, a stationary bike can be used after one week and running or jogging after three weeks. No contact sports should be played for three months.

Directions for Optimal Healing after Jaw Joint Arthrocentisis

Rest and Nutritious Foods: Resting and eating nutritious foods are essential for healing to begin and progress normally. Soft foods are best for the first 4 weeks, nothing harder than pasta consistency. Drink extra amounts of non-carbonated fluids to avoid dehydration, especially the day of your surgery.

Control your Pain: Pain control is best obtained and maintained when you use your pain medicines prior to the local anesthesia wearing off. It is wise to eat some food prior to the taking this medicine as well. Take your medicine on a scheduled basis the first day-every four to six hours. You should realize that no pain medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable. Do not take extra
Tylenol, it is already mixed with your narcotic pain medication.

Part of your pain control strategy is taking an anti-inflammatory drug. You should continue to take this as prescribed and not stop until directed otherwise.

If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us.

Swelling: Some swelling will be present after this procedure. It will be localized to the cheek and in front of the ear, directly over the jaw joint. This will resolve readily and application of a heat pack may help speed the resolution of the swelling.

Eye PrecautionsThe local anesthesia which is given for pain control during the procedure may temporarily affect the nerve that closes the eyelid. If this happens use over the counter eye drops to keep the eye moist. This will usually resolve within 2-3 hours.

Jaw ExercisesThree times per day hold your tongue up and back to the roof of your mouth. Keep it there and then open and close your mouth ten times. This will help with motion and muscle  strengthening. Do not do more than this. No side to side motion please.

Directions for Optimal Healing after Bone or Soft Tissue Grafting

Rest and Nutritious Foods: Resting and eating nutritious foods are essential for healing to begin and progressing normally. Soft foods are best to avoid injury to the surgical site. Keep food away from the surgical site. High calorie and high protein foods are ideal for the first few days. Drink extra non-carbonated fluids to avoid dehydration, especially the day of your surgery. Do not use a straw. Avoid hot foods while still numb
from the anesthesia.

Control your Pain: Pain control is best obtained and maintained when you use your pain medicines prior to the local anesthesia wearing off. It is wise to eat some food prior to the taking this medicine as well. Take your medicine on a scheduled basis the first day-every four to six hours. You should realize that no pain medicine removes your pain sensation completely but lessens it so as to be tolerable. You may also use
Ibuprofen as a second pain medicine. Follow the Ibuprofen label directions. Do not take extra Tylenol, it is already mixed with your narcotic pain medication. If adequate pain control isn’t obtained please call us.

Cleaning Your MouthOral hygiene may begin the morning after your surgery. Gently clean your teeth with a soft  bristled tooth brush and tooth paste. Do not brush the surgical site, only the teeth next to it. You should be very gentle but thorough on the teeth next to the surgical site. If you are prescribed Peridex use it gently. Avoid ultrasonic or power brushes for the first week after surgery.

Antibiotic Mouth Rinse:
 If you are prescribed Chlorhexidine Gluconate, commonly called Peridex, you should begin using it the morning after surgery following gently cleaning your teeth. Very gently rinse it around your mouth and spit it out carefully. This will need to be done each morning and at bedtime for 7-10 days. Never rinse your mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide.

The Do Nots: Keep your finger out of your mouth. There is no need to be touching or feeling the surgical site.
Keep your tongue away as well. The tension and pressure from fingers and /or the tongue can disrupt the
healing process and may affect the desired outcome. Never rinse your mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide or
mouthwash like Listerine or Scope. All three of these will hurt the healing tissue and besides that they cause
increased pain.

To learn more about how we can help improve your smile, please request an appointment now.

Location

3905 Washington Parkway
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83404
Main: (208) 528-6000
Hours: 

Social