Frequently Asked Questions: Oral Surgery
How long does the procedure take?
Most oral surgery procedures take approximately 40 to 60 minutes. If you are having the procedure completed under IV sedation, we ask that your escort come into the office and join you in the recovery room to obtain the post-operative instructions, roughly 40 minutes after your scheduled start time.
Will there be any pain after surgery?
Depending on the difficulty of the procedure, there may be some discomfort. For simple types of surgery, two regular strength Advil or Tylenol tablets may be used as directed to relieve any pain. If the pain is more severe a prescription of Tylenol #3 and/or Ibuprofen 600mg may be provided and should be taken as directed. The first tablet can be taken before the dental freezing, or local anesthesia, wears off, which can take 2 to 8 hours.
When can I resume exercise/sporting activities?
It is best to rest, keeping you head slightly elevated for 48 hours following surgery. Exercise and sporting activities can typically be slowly introduced 3 to 5 days after surgery (contact sports should be discussed in further details with practitioner). If you do not feel well, or bleeding starts, rest for an additional 24 to 48 hours.
Will there be a lot of bleeding?
It is normal for your saliva to be lightly streaked with blood for 1 to 2 days following surgery. Before you leave our officed we will make sure the bleeding is well under control. We will have you bite down on a piece of guaze for 30 minutes at a time in order for the extraction side to start clotting. You will continue this at home until there is no bleeding.
Will there be any stitches?
Depending on the operative site there may be stitches, or sutures, placed to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. In most cases, removal is not required as the stitches will dissolve 3 to 7 days following the procedure.
How long should I plan to be off work/school?
Everyone recovers and experiences discomfort differently. Depending on how involved the procedure is, you should leave your schedule free for 3 to 5 days and plan to rest for the first 48 hours. If required, a letter of absence can be provided upon request.
Will there be any swelling or bruising?
Swelling is to be expected in certain cases, often reaching its maximum 2 to 3 days following surgery and then disappearing over the following 4 to 5 days. If you apply ice to the outside of the face, next to extraction site, for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 to 48 hours and take your ibuprofen as directed, you will decrease your chances of experiencing any swelling. If any bruising is to occur, it usually starts to appear after the swelling has decreased and is usually brown and yellow versus black and blue.
Can I smoke?
Do not smoke for a minimum of 72 hours following surgery, or ideally, throughout the entire recovery period.
Can I drink alcohol?
Alcohol consumption should be avoided for a minimum of 24 hours following surgery. If you are prescribed opiod pain medication (ex. Tylenol #3, Percocet) do not drink alcohol, drive or operate hazardous equipment as the medication may cause dizziness and/or drowsiness.
When can I brush my teeth?
You may brush your teeth when it is comfortable to do so, while staying away from the operative site(s). It is very important for you to keep your mouth clean. Additionally, it is recommended that you start rinsing with warm salt water after eating and before bed 24 hours following surgery.
How will this affect my diet?
Following oral surgery it may be difficult to eat, as jaw and throat muscles may be sore. A soft food diet is recommended for 3 to 5 days following surgery. Avoid small foods like rice, peas, seeds or nuts that can easily become trapped in the extraction site(s). It is important to maintain a good diet and plenty of fluid consumption. Hot drinks/soups should be avoided until local anesthesia has worn off, which can take 2 to 8 hours following the procedure. A regular diet can usually be resumed 5 to 7 days after surgery or when it can be comfortably managed.
Can I travel or fly following my procedure?
Ideally, it is best to remain local for the first 7 days following surgery in case of any complications.
What if I have a concern after my procedure?
Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any post-operative questions or concerns. Additionally, you will be provided an emergency telephone number should an urgent matter arise after business hours. Alternatively, make your way to your nearest emergency department.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
To avoid a cancellation or rescheduling fee ($250) please provide a minimum of 48 business hours notice.
Why is a government identification card required? Do you take OHIP?
No, dental services performed at this office are NOT covered by OHIP.
We obtain your government identification (health card, drivers license or passport) for prescription and referral purposes.
As you are required to show government ID to your dentist and your pharmacist in order to get your prescription and have it filled, please bring your ID to each appointment. For additional information about Ontario’s narcotic strategy please click here.