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Post-Op Tips


Recovering from a more serious dental procedure might possibly include some pain in the days following that. You can surf the internet on what to do, but there is a lot of misinformation that could lead you to an unnecessary extended period of pain, worse pain, or even infection. To avoid those possibilities, here are some crucial pointers directly from Dr. Abbott!

Place ice-packs on the side of your face where the surgery was performed. Fill a zipper bag with crushed ice and apply to side of face for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off the day of surgery until bedtime. This is the most important step in reducing swelling, which is the biggest factor contributing to pain.

Take prescribed medicine as directed with plenty of fluids.

  • For mild pain: Use 600 mg ibuprofen (3 tablets 200 mg) every 6 hours, as needed, for pain.
  • For moderate pain: Start with taking 600 mg ibuprofen (3 tablets of 200 mg) and then 3 hours later take 650 mg acetaminophen (2 tablets of 325 mg). Continue to alternate between ibuprofen and acetaminophen every 3 hours for the best pain control.
  • For severe pain: If given a hydrocodone/acetaminophen prescription, you can use this as needed but not more frequently than it was prescribed. You may alternate the hydrocodone/acetaminophen with ibuprofen. Begin with the 600 mg ibuprofen and then take the hydrocodone/acetaminophen 3 hours later. Then, 3 hours later you can take the 600 mg ibuprofen again and, 3 hours after that, you can take the hydrocodone/acetaminophen again. *Do not take extra Tylenol if you are using the hydrocodone/acetaminophen.

Food Recommendations
Foods should be soft, room temperature and nutritious such as eggs, yogurt, soups, casseroles, etc. Do not drink through a straw! This can break the clot and cause a dry socket.

Limit activity:

  • Day 1 should be couch or bed rest
  • Day 2 no activity that raises your heart rate or where you bend or lift. No exercise
  • Day 3 & 4 no exercise
  • Day 5 you may resume regular activity if you are feeling okay.

Of course, it’s always best to talk with your dentist or oral surgeon on procedure steps for post-op care. You may want to ask your dentist or surgeon for a handout on their recommendations for your specific procedure beforehand so you can be fully prepared once you are home and recovering. If anything out of the ordinary arises, it’s always best to call your dentist or surgeon immediately to get professional help! Midlothian Dental Arts’ phone line is open all hours for emergency circumstances.