Post-Op Instructions Following Periodontal Surgery

These are general instructions regarding periodontal/implant surgery. You will be given specific instructions regarding your individual surgery.

  1. MedicationsPeriodontal/implant surgery, like other surgical procedures, may be associated with varying degrees of discomfort. This depends on the procedure involved and individual differences. It is best to take the first dose of the prescribed or over the counter analgesic (pain medication) while the surgical site is still anesthetized (numb), you will feel less discomfort and need less medication. You need only to take the analgesic if there is discomfort. Please take the entire antibiotic prescribed and use the mouth rinse as directed.
  2. BleedingYou may notice slight bleeding from the surgical site. This type of minor bleeding for one or two days is not unusual and is not a major concern. If at any time you notice the formation of large blood clots or an obvious flow of blood which is more than slight ooze, notify us. 
  3. SuturesDo not disturb the sutures with your tongue, toothbrush or in any other manner since displacement will impair healing. If dissolving sutures were used, you will notice the sutures starting to “come loose” in generally 3-5 days. This indicates the sutures are beginning to dissolve and have completed their purpose. You may cut off the loose, long ends, but do not tug or pull.
  4. DressingA periodontal dressing is sometimes used to cover the surgical site. If it should come off later the same day of surgery or before the first post-operative visit, do not worry. This is a normal occurrence.
  5. DietFor your comfort and protection of the surgical area, a soft diet is recommended. Avoid chewing in the area of surgery. Avoid hard or “sharp” foods (such as corn chips) as these may be uncomfortable and can disturb the healing site. Drink plenty of liquids. It is important to maintain a diet with a normal caloric level that is high in protein, minerals (especially zinc) and vitamins to support healing. Fresh pineapple is a good choice to aid healing (1/2 the day before treatment and 1⁄2 for the next six days). Good nutrition is essential to good healing.
  6. Oral HygieneContinue to brush and floss the teeth which were not involved in the surgery. The surgical area should not be disturbed for the first week post-operatively. Please rely on the prescribed mouth rinse (Peridex/Periogard) or salt-water rinse to keep the area clean. After your sutures have been removed, generally after 1-2 weeks, you should lightly clean the teeth using a soft toothbrush or as instructed.
  7. Physical ActivityAvoid strenuous physical activity during your immediate recovery period, usually 1-3 days. Please ask the Doctors regarding your specific situation.
  8. SwellingSome slight swelling of the operated area is not unusual and may begin after the surgery. An ice pack may be used to minimize swelling. Ice should be placed in a plastic bag and then wrapped in a thin cloth towel and applied directly over the surgical area. You should maintain the towel wrapped ice pack in contact with the skin as much as possible for the first 24 hours after surgery. Frozen peas as an ice compress also works well. You should also keep your head elevated above the level of your heart during the first 24 hours after surgery. This may necessitate the use of several pillows to support your head and upper body while sleeping. If swelling occurs, it usually disappears after several days. Applying moist heat to the swollen area will help resolve swelling; however, heat should not be applied until at least 3 days after surgery.
  9. SmokingSmoking should be stopped until after your sutures have been removed to ensure the best healing and success of your surgical procedure. This is a good time to give up a destructive habit. 
  10. AlcoholAll intake of alcohol should be stopped until after your sutures have been removed and minimized for the next several weeks after suture removal to enhance healing. The combination of alcohol and pain medications is not recommended.

If you have any questions or problems, please call: 

Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (626) 447-0945 

Dr. J. Paul Fuentes Cell . . . . . . . . (951) 316-3051 

Dr. Andrew Peterson Cell . . . . . . . (406) 861-8844