Before Surgery

Your safety is our number one priority, therefore to prepare for IV sedation you should:

  • Not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the procedure.
  • Check with Dr. Burns about instructions for taking your normal medications before the procedure. If Dr. Burns approves your medications, you may take them with a sip of water the morning of the appointment.
  • Not take any sleeping medication, alcohol, drugs or tranquilizers for 12 hours before and after surgery
  • Not smoke for at least 12 hours before surgery.
  • Not wear makeup, including nailpolish or lipstick, on the day of your surgery.
  • Plan to not drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours after anesthesia
  • Plan to not work or go to school the day of your appointment or while taking any narcotic pain medications.
  • Please bring a responsible adult, 18 years or older, who can stay in the office during your procedure, drive or escort you home, and stay with you as you recover.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up past the elbows.
  • Notify our office if you are feeling unwell the day of the procedure (sore throat, cold sores, upset stomach, or any other illnesses.

If you are unable to follow these instructions we cannot complete the planned treatment. Your safety is our number one priority.

After Surgery

Immediately After Surgery


Place the gauze packs over the surgical areas and bite down firmly. Change the gauze before they become saturated to prevent the possibility of swallowing blood. Firm, constant pressure will control bleeding.


Do not disturb the surgical area today. DO NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects or your fingers. You may brush your teeth gently. DO NOT SMOKE, VAPE OR USE E-CIGARETTES for at least 5-6 days. This is detrimental to healing and may lead to dry socket. DO NOT go to bed or lay down with gauze in your mouth. Before you go to bed, remove all gauze from mouth to avoid choking or swallowing.


Intermittent bleeding or oozing is normal for the first 24 hours. Packs should be removed prior to eating or drinking anything. If bleeding continues, repack the surgical area by placing fresh gauze over the surgical site and biting down firmly for 30-60 minutes. Once bleeding has stopped, gauze packs will not be needed.


Bleeding should never be severe. If it is, it usually means that the packs are between your teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try positioning fresh packs over the surgical areas. If bleeding continues or becomes heavy, you may substitute by using a black tea bag (soaked in hot water, squeezed damp-dry and wrapped in moist gauze) for 20-30 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.


Often there is some swelling associated with the surgery. You can reduce this by holding a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel firmly to the face or cheek over the surgical site. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 hours. After 36 hours, it is best to switch from ice to moist heat, placing it to the same areas. The greatest swelling occurs 2-3 days after surgery. After that time it should gradually decrease. Keep head elevated on at least 2 pillows at all times for the first 3 days after surgery.


Bruising is highly variable and differs from patient to patient. Some patients experience little to no bruising, others have extensive bruising under the eyes, chin, down the neck and under the tongue. Variables such as age, skin type and medication profile can all affect bruising.


Unfortunately, most oral surgery procedures cause discomfort. Dr. Burns will most likely prescribe you pain medication. Always have food in your stomach before taking pain medication. Pain medications should be taken within 2 hours after surgery while the numbness from the anesthetic is still in effect. Doing this will best manage discomfort and pain since the most severe discomfort usually occurs within six hours after the numbness wears off. Please take the pain medication exactly as instructed by Dr. Burns. Doing so will help you remain most comfortable and heal faster. If you find that your pain is not well managed after following the instructions given to you, please call our office. Remember that you may only receive refills on medications during normal business hours and on weekdays.


Nausea after surgery may be the result of swallowed blood, pain medications and/or the after effects of anesthesia. Nausea can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food and taking the pill with large volumes of water. If vomiting persists, continue to drink clear fluids and minimize the amount of prescription pain medications.


Do not use straws or drink carbonated beverages for 4-5 days. Avoid hot liquids or foods. The first day’s diet should consist of cold, soft foods (pudding, yogurt, milk shakes, jello, etc.). Avoid foods such as nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc. for 4-5 days so that they will not get lodged into the surgical sites. You may work your way up to a soft diet the second day. After the 5th day, proceed toward a normal diet as you feel comfortable. If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.


If you feel something hard or sharp areas in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling a bony wall which once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.

Instructions for the Second and Third Day


Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use ¼ teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse; taking 5 minutes to use the entire glass. Repeat as often as you would like, but at least two or three times daily until extraction holes are no longer visible.


Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.


You may apply warm compresses to the skin over the areas of swelling (hot water bottle, hot moist towels, and heating pad) for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to help soothe tender areas. This will also help decrease swelling and stiffness of your jaw.


Normal healing after tooth extractions should be as follows: The first two days after surgery are generally the most uncomfortable and there is usually some swelling. On the third day you should be more comfortable and, although still swollen, can usually begin a more substantial diet. The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement with reduced swelling and pain each day. If you don’t see continued improvement, please call our office. If you are given a plastic irrigating syringe, DO NOT use it for the first five days. Then use it daily according to the instructions until you are certain the tooth socket has closed completely and that there is no chance food particles lodging in the sockets.

What Else to Expect After Having Teeth Removed

Trismus (stiffness) of your jaw muscles may cause difficulty opening your mouth for a period of days. You may have a slight earache. A sore throat may develop. Your teeth may ache temporarily. This is called “referred pain” and will resolve as the extraction areas heal. If the corners of the mouth were stretched during the procedure, they may feel dry and may crack. Keep your lips moist with Chapstick or Vaseline.

NOTE: If you do not believe that you are recovering satisfactorily, or for other persistent problems, please call or text Dr. Devin Burns at (435) 915-1267