Pre-Op and Pain Management Information


  • Because the anesthetic medications cause prolonged drowsiness, you MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult to drive you here, your ride MUST STAY HERE WHILE YOU HAVE SURGERY, drive you home and stay with you the remainder of the day until you are recovered sufficiently to care for yourself. Sometimes the effects of the drugs do not wear off for 24 hours.
  • During the time of recovery (normally 24 hours), you should NOT drive, operative machinery or devices, or make any important decisions, such as signing legal documents, etc.
  • Due to the potential for nausea and vomiting under anesthesia, YOU MUST HAVE A COMPLETELY EMPTY STOMACH. It is vital that you have NOTHING TO EAT 6 HOURS BEFORE SURGERY; TO DO OTHERWISE MAY BE LIFE THREATENING AS WELL AS THE POSSIBILITY OF YOUR SURGERY BEING CANCELLED FOR THE DAY. Please note, you may drink water up until 3 hours prior to surgery. It is okay to take scheduled medications with a sip of water.


  1. DO NOT DISTURB SURGERY AREA! If you do so, you may invite irritation, infection and bleeding.
  2. BLEEDING - BE QUIET AND KEEP HEAD ELEVATED. Bite on gauze placed in your mouth so that you exert firm, continuous pressure on the area. Keep the gauze in place for at least sixty (60) minutes, repeat at the end of the sixty minutes if the bleeding continues. Some oozing following tooth removal is to be expected. If heavy bleeding persists, it may be helpful to moisten a tea bag and bite firm on it for forty-five (45) minutes.
  3. FOOD. One hour after surgery, remove gauze and eat something soft prior to taking your prescribed pain medication. Light diet is advisable during the first twenty-four (24) hours. Drink plenty of water and juice from a glass (do not use a straw). Avoid fatty foods.
  4. SWELLING. To aid in the prevention of swelling after extensive and difficult oral operations, the application of ice packs for the first twenty-four (24) hours is useful. The use of an ice gag for forty-eight (48) hours will do no harm and may be beneficial if you feel further swelling may occur. The peak of swelling may occur three (3) to four (4) days later.
  5. RINSING. Do not rinse, spit or smoke for the first twenty-four (24) hours. The day after surgery, warm salt water may be used to rinse the mouth gently after each meal. IF GIVEN AN IRRIGATING SYRINGE, DO NOT USE UNTIL THE FOURTH DAY AFTER SURGERY.
  6. ANTIBIOTICS. If you are placed on antibiotics, be certain to continue taking them as directed. Studies indicate that antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives (birth control pills). It is strongly recommended that extra protection be utilized.
  7. BONY EDGES. After teeth are extracted you may feel hard, sharp projections and think they are roots. These are usually the portion of the bone which surrounds the roots. They usually disappear in a few days, but if they are annoying, please call the office for further care.
  8. Do not apply heat to the outside of the face unless you are specifically told to do so.
  9. Get adequate rest. Rest and quiet facilitate healing. Strenuous activity can cause renewed bleeding for 7-10 days following extractions. The proper care following oral surgery procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications.
  10. If any unusual symptoms occur call the office at once.
  11. Do not drive any motor vehicle after recent IV sedation (within 24 hours or when taking pain medication).
  12. BRUSHING. You may begin brushing your teeth the following day, being careful in the areas of surgery.



The best medications for post-operative pain are typically ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil) and Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol), unless you have an allergy or have been told previously by your doctor that you should not take them.

These medications are very effective because they act locally to prevent the pain molecules from being formed which prevents the pain pathway from starting. If you were prescribed Tylenol and Ibuprofen, take these medications as prescribed. You can also use over the counter Ibuprofen (600mg, or three 200mg tablets, every 6 hours) and Extra-Strength Tylenol (one 500 mg tablet every 6 hours). You should never take ibuprofen on an empty stomach. Instead of taking these medications at the same time, you can choose to stagger them to better stay ahead of the pain. It is much easier to prevent pain before it starts that it is to catch up with pain later. 

For severe pain that your are unable to control with Tylenol and Ibuprofen, you can use narcotic pain medications (if your procedure dictated that they be prescribed). Like ibuprofen, narcotic pain medications should not be taken on an empty stomach. They may also cause drowsiness and constipation. DO NOT DRIVE if you have taken narcotic pain medications. For constipation, you can buy over-the-counter Colace/Docusate Sodium or other stool softeners.

 You may contact us at any time at 209-383-9300 with questions or concerns


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