Pre-Op Instructions

Before Your Procedure


  • Being nervous about the process is normal. We can help alleviate some of the anxiety by prescribing
    a medication that will be taken the night before and then again the morning of the appointment. Ask us about it.
    (If you request a relaxation medication, please be sure someone drives you to and from your appointment on the date of the surgical procedure.)
  • If you are taking aspirin or any herbal supplements on a regular basis, please tell us about it. In most cases, these medications can be stopped 7 days prior to the procedure. In some cases, we may need to discuss the situation with your physician.
  • If there are any medical conditions that are uncontrolled or have never been discussed with a physician, please tell us about it. If you are allergic to any medications, notify us.

Preoperative Antibiotics/Other Meds

For certain procedures and certain situations, preoperative medications may be beneficial. These may be antibiotics, anti-anxiety, and/or anti-inflammatory medications. The need of each patient and each procedure will determine whether these medications will be prescribed for you.

During Your Procedure

Breaks During the Procedure
If you feel the need to rinse or you need suction during the procedure, please let us know. Anytime, if you feel you need a little break to use the restroom or to simply walk around for a minute, just tell us about it.

Discomfort and Sounds
You should not feel any sharp, pinching, shooting pain during the procedure. However, sensations of pressure, pushing and pulling may be experienced. Plus, you may hear popping or cracking during the procedure. Local anesthetic will be used during our procedure on both cheek side and tongue side of the surgical site(s). This will be similar to any other dental procedure you may have had in the past. The most common area to feel discomfort during the procedure is the jaw joint because of the length of time the mouth remains opened. If, at any time during the procedure, you begin to feel sharp pain, please let us know so we can provide more anesthetic. Keep in mind you are the boss!

Bleeding and Fluid
It is common to have water, saliva, and blood in your mouth during periodontal procedures. However, we will do everything we can to minimize it. If you feel you need a break for suction or rinsing, please tell us about it.

After Your Procedure

Sutures and Surgical Dressing
You will leave the office with a number of sutures. The length of time they remain in your mouth will be determined by the needs of the procedure. Some procedures allow us to place dissolvable sutures that go away by themselves. Other procedures will necessitate sutures remaining in place for 5 weeks. Specific instructions will be given to you after the procedure.
It is common to leave with a dressing over the surgical site for protection. This dressing looks like a piece of putty, and may not be esthetically pleasing. However, it will only stay in place for about 7-10 days, until our first postoperative visit. It is quite common for the dressing to fall out by itself before the postoperative visit, but this should not be cause for alarm. Instructions about care for the surgical site, whether the dressing remains in place or not, will be provided after the procedure.

Your medications will include a medicated rinse, an anti-swelling medication, and a pain medication. Antibiotics are commonly used, but not for every procedure. The most common medications used are Peridex, Ibuprofen, Amoxicillin, and Vicodin. The medications that are actually prescribed will depend on the needs of your procedure. However, this gives you a good idea of the kinds of medications that may be prescribed. If you have allergies to these medications or if you have ever had a bad reaction to any of them, please let us know. The most common side effects of these medications include tooth staining and stomach upset.

Vicodin, a narcotic pain medication, is there for your comfort. If you need, take it. Vicodin may have other side effects such as nausea, vomiting, altered perception, and visual disturbances. If you take the pain medication, please do not drive or operate any dangerous machinery for a period of 6 hours.

Postoperative Discomfort, Swelling, Bleeding, Bruising, and Numbness
There is a great deal of variation between patients and procedures. Many patients never experience any postoperative pain, swelling, bleeding, or bruising. Nonetheless, planning ahead and expecting to have some degree of inconvenience will prepare us properly for the procedure.

Throbbing is often experienced soon after the procedure is over, and it feels like a terrible toothache. This initial throbbing is usually due to the metabolism of the anesthetics. It should subside by the time you go to sleep. Discomfort from the procedure itself will begin 1-2 days after the procedure and peak on day 4-5. By day 7-10, you should no longer have any pain.

Expect some minor bleeding during the week following the procedure. There are things that can be done to minimize postoperative bleeding. Relaxing, refraining from exercise, icing, and keeping a soft diet will be beneficial during the postoperative phase and will speed up the healing process.

Swelling and bruising begin on day 2-3. Swelling will begin to subside on day 3-4. The more you ice during the first week after the procedure, the less swelling you will have. Bruising on the face could last up to two weeks, and it can become quite large.

Although it is uncommon, numbness can linger for a number of days. Normal sensation always returns, but it may take weeks or even months in very rare cases.

Need for post op visits
The needs of your procedure and your body’s ability to heal determine how many postoperative visits we will need to schedule. Each postoperative visit takes about 20-30 minutes. Although the number of postoperative visits varies between patients, it is good to expect that the visits will be scheduled weekly for the first month after the procedure. After that, we will see you again in 8-12 weeks for the final postoperative visit and final recommendations.

Lifestyle changes

1) Things to avoid the week after your periodontal procedure:

  • Exercise (i.e. any activity that gets your heart pumping quickly)
  • Heavy lifting (i.e. lifting heavy boxes, weight lifting)
  • Hard foods (i.e. apples, hard candies)
  • Crunchy, crumbly foods (i.e. pretzels, potato chips)
  • Spicy foods (i.e. Cajun, certain ethnic foods)
  • Hot foods (i.e. steaming hot coffee/tea)
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Drinking through straws
  • Creating suction between your tongue and palate
  • Brushing and flossing the involved area(s)

2) Oral Hygiene
You will not brush and floss the area where the procedure was performed. Instead, you will be prescribed a medicated rinse that will keep the area free from bacteria. All other areas of the mouth can be brushed and flossed normally.

3) Diet
Keep your diet cool and soft. Some examples are: well cooked vegetables, soup, yogurt, ice cream, any drinks, soft fruits (i.e. bananas) and pasta.
Emergency Contact Information
Emergency contact information will be provided for you after the procedure.

Emergency Contact Information
Emergency contact information will be provided for you after the procedure.