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Surgery Care

Instructions Before Sedation Surgery

  • You may NOT have anything to EAT or DRINK after midnight the night before. No food or liquids, not even water.
  • If you are taking any daily medications (ex. blood pressure), or you need to take an antibiotic to pre-medicate do to artificial joints or heart murmur, you may take this medication with the smallest amount of water possible.
  • If you use an inhaler, please be sure to bring it with you day of surgery.
  • Have someone drive you who will stay in the waiting room the entire time you are here. You cannot drive yourself home after you have been sedated. A parent or legal guardian must accompany any minor. The parent or guardian MUST BE OVER THE AGE OF 18.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes the day of surgery (no ties, long sleeves or tight sleeves), an old t-shirt would be best. Your shoes should tie or buckle on your feet, no slip on sandals which could cause you to trip while walking after being sedated.
smiling woman in dental chair

What to Expect After Surgery

smiling woman leaning on a couch

The following conditions may occur in some patients while healing is progressing normally:

  • Swelling on one or both sides of the jaw.
  • Numbness (paresthesia) around the corner of the mouth or tongue.
  • Tightness of the muscles around the mouth which may cause difficulty opening. Alternate applying moist heat and ice to the face, AFTER 24 HOURS, will help relax tension and bring relief.
  • Sore throat.
  • Nausea may occur after surgery due to antibiotics and pain medication, eating prior to taking the medication will help. If the problem persists please contact the office.

Please keep in mind that it is reasonable to expect your normal activities to be disrupted following a surgical procedure. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please contact Dr. Puckett using the number provided to you at the time of your procedure.

After Surgery Care


Some bleeding and oozing is to be expected. Normal bleeding may last 4-8 hours, with some oozing lasting up to 24 hours. When you get home, remove the gauze pack, replace with folded gauze and bite down firmly for one hour, and then change the gauze pack every 30 minutes until the bleeding stops. Keeping firm pressure on the gauze will assist in getting the bleeding to subside. If bleeding persists place a moistened (squeezed dry) tea bag over the area and bite for 30 minutes. You may repeat this instruction once more. If bleeding still persists after you have tried all of the above instructions, please call. Keeping your head elevated helps to slow bleeding. Relax in a semi-reclined position. Do NOT spit or use a straw during the first 24 hours as this creates suction and promotes bleeding.

Swelling Control

Some degree of swelling is normal, depending on the amount of surgery done and the individual response. Apply ice packs (wrapped in thin towel) to the face at the extraction site for 15 minutes –then leave off the face for 15 minutes. This should be repeated as often as possible for the first 24 hours. Do NOT Lay flat today, lay with several pillows under your head, or in a recliner for the rest of the day and night.


Some discomfort is expected after surgery. You have been given a prescription for relief of pain, take as directed if needed. Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach-this is a frequent cause of nausea and vomiting. Do not drive or operate machinery after taking pain medication. Please do not take medication with alcohol.


A soft or liquid diet is best for the first one to two days following surgery. Keep your fluid intake high and drink lots of water Avoid carbonate beverages as the carbonation promotes bleeding for the first one two days. Do not drink through a straw for the first 24 hours. Cold foods are best for the first 24 hours example- smoothie, milk shakes, ice cream.

Care of Your Mouth

Do not use mouthwashes (Listerine, etc.) or gargling for the first 24 hours after surgery. This will allow for proper blood clot formation. At the end of 24 hours, begin gentle mouth rinses with warm salt water (½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) at least 4 times per day, especially after eating. You may brush your teeth during this time, but clean carefully around the surgical site. Avoid spitting.


If sutures have been used, they will be inspected at your next visit. Most sutures will dissolve and do not require removal. It is not uncommon for sutures to loosen over time.


Nausea may accompany the discomfort during the initial time after surgery. 

Liquid Pepto-Bismol may help. Pain medication may also cause nausea. Should nausea persist, please call our office.


Do not smoke until the surgical site has completely healed, which could take 7-10 days.


Please do not use alcohol for 48 hours following surgery.

Denture Patients

If immediate dentures have been placed, please do not remove them for 24 hours.