top of page

Pre & Post Operative Surgery Instructions

The instructions below are designed to guide you through your surgical procedure and help you towards a successful and speedy recovery. Please carefully read the instructions below, and feel free to call us if you have any additional questions.

Pre-Operative Instructions
Pre-Operative Surgery Instructions

Pre-Operative Instructions
(before surgery)


Check your schedule prior to your surgery date for any important engagements immediately following your procedure so that you can reschedule them accordingly if necessary. If you are being sedated for your procedure, please be aware – sedation medication usually takes a little time, however, it can take effect immediately.

  • Please arrive on time for your procedure.

  • If you will be sedated for your procedure, a responsible party/driver (spouse, friend or relative) must drive you to and from the dental office. Your responsible party MUST accompany you into the office AND review post-op instructions BEFORE leaving our office prior to your surgery. Driver services such as a taxi, Uber, or Lyft are not sufficient.

  • Prior to taking sedation medication, please be sure that your responsible party knows the location of our office and the correct appointment time.

  • Be advised that the sedative drug will affect your senses and memory for as long as 24 hours. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU DRIVE TO OR FROM OUR OFFICE, OR FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS after taking the sedation medication to be sure that it is fully out of your system and that your full senses and faculties have returned. You will need assistance from your responsible party with getting from your home into the office, and back into your home. You will also need a responsible person to take care of you while under the influence of this medication. Your responsible party should stay with you for at least 24 hours following the surgery while you are still under the influence of the oral sedation medication. Please check with your responsible party/driver to assure they are available and can stay with you until the sedation medication has worn off.

  • Plan to take it easy for the week after surgery and avoid physical exertion (i.e., heavy lifting, high-impact exercise and swimming). TLC* is the best prescription you can give yourself, and you’re worth it.        *Tender Loving Care



Some procedures require antibiotics and/or other medications be taken prior to surgery. We will call you prior to your appointment to explain your instructions for prescriptions and call them into the pharmacy of your choice for you. For your convenience, please have them picked up prior to your scheduled surgery. Please bring your filled prescriptions with you to your appointment. Some procedures require antibiotics and/or other medications be taken prior to surgery.

  • If you take ASPIRIN, COUMADIN, WARFARIN, PLAVIX or OTHER BLOOD THINNING MEDICATIONS, please be sure we are aware of this, as they may need to be discontinued prior to your procedure.

  • If you take BONIVA, FOSAMAX or other BISPHOSPHONATE medications, please be sure we are aware of this, as you may be required to take a DRUG HOLIDAY from these medications prior to procedures.


Please contact the office 5-7 days prior to your scheduled procedure if you have questions regarding medications you are currently taking in regards to your procedure.



Prior to Surgery:

  • SEDATION: If sedation medication is to be taken, please bring your sedation medication to your surgery appointment. DO NOT TAKE this medication prior to your appointment. The doctor or assistant will administer this medication at the time of your surgery. The day of your appointment, please be sure to follow the directions on your medication bottles. If your surgery is scheduled in the morning, have NOTHING TO EAT AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE and WATER ONLY - NO COFFEE, TEA or SODA. If you have been prescribed a steroid, this medication may cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach. In this case only, you may take this medication with a piece of toast or something light. Be sure to follow directions on medication bottles regarding medications to be taken at home prior to your procedure.

  • NO SEDATION: You should eat a light meal if you are not having sedation for your procedure. 

After Surgery: On surgery day and the day after, keep all food and drink temperatures cold or lukewarm – not hot. Avoid carbonated beverages for 2 – 3 days because this can increase chances for bleeding. Do not use straws for three days. Eat soft foods and avoid hard or crunchy foods until your post-op visit. You will be on a soft diet for several days until you feel that you can chew firmer foods. (Examples: Breakfast: scrambled eggs, Jell-O, puddings, applesauce, yogurt, pancakes, oatmeal. Lunch / Dinner: baked or broiled fish or chicken, soft cooked veggies, potatoes, pasta, ice cream) If surgical areas are in the front part of your mouth, do not bite into any foods. Cut food into bite size portions and chew on non-surgical areas.



On the day of the surgery, do not wear make-up to your procedure, and please remove your nail polish if possible. Contact lenses must also be removed prior to surgery. It is suggested that you wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes for your procedure. If you will be sedated, plan to wear something comfortable to relax in once you arrive home. Please leave all valuables at home.



If you have not already pre-paid for your treatment, please have your payment ready—checks already made out, or credit card/cash handy. We cannot accept payment from you while you are under the influence of sedation medication, so if you are using any type of patient financing (Care Credit, Wells Fargo Health Advantage) or a credit card in your name, these transactions must be done prior to your surgery date. If you are paying on the day of your surgery, this must be done by a spouse/partner/paent or other third party who will be paying with a patient finance account, check or credit card in their own name. Payment must be received before we can begin your surgical procedure.


Contact Us:

Please contact the office at 512-454-6861 during normal business hours at least five to seven (5-7) days prior to your scheduled procedure date if you have questions regarding medications you are currently taking and your procedure, if you have questions regarding insurance coverage, payment or if you need to reschedule your surgery date so that we may address any questions you may have.


Rescheduling or Cancelling your Surgery:

Due to the length of time that we set aside in our schedule for your procedure, we must have at least two (2) weeks notice in order to cancel or reschedule your appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule your surgery, failure to contact us within this two (2) week window may result in a cancellation or rescheduling fee as outlined in our Financial Policy document. Please ask us if you need to review our Financial Policy.

Post-Operative Instructions
Post-Operative Surgery Instructions

Post-Operative Instructions
(after surgery)

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention. Optimal healing following periodontal surgery is dependent on proper post-operative care. It is very important to follow these post-operative instructions to facilitate optimal healing after periodontal surgery.

     Most surgeries involve repositioning of the gum tissues and re-contouring the bone around the teeth. In regenerative procedures, bone materials and barrier membranes may be used to “rebuild” tissues lost to disease.

After all surgeries, the most important factor which promotes healing is stabilization of the surgical site. Thus, the surgical site must remain undisturbed for at least 14 days. To evaluate your progress and healing, we will see you in two weeks following your surgery.


Antibiotics/ Pain Medications

An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. If so, you will have already started antibiotics prior to your surgery. After surgery, continue to take the remainder of your antibiotics as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

     It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. The average patient experiences at least a moderate amount of pain and/or discomfort 1-3 days following periodontal surgery. This is normal, however, how much and how long it lasts depends on the type of surgery performed and your unique response to it.

     Do not take aspirin products unless instructed. (Aspirin increases bleeding). Do not take narcotic medications with alcohol or while driving or performing duties that require one’s full reasoning faculties. It is advisable not to take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

     You will be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. Take the pain medication before the numbness wears off and before you experience discomfort.

     If you choose not to use the narcotic pain medication prescribed, we recommend that you use over-the-counter Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or Ibuprofen/Motrin (Advil) for effective pain and inflammation management.



Some swelling and/or bruising after certain surgical procedures is normal. This may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your face over the surgical area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off as needed during the first 24 hours following surgery unless otherwise instructed. Sleep with your head elevated for the first night. If swelling and/or bruising is still present after 72 hours, do not use ice packs. Instead use warm, moist compresses in 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off intervals. The gel pack that was sent home with you can be placed in the microwave. Just follow the directions on the gel pack.



A small amount of bleeding and/or slow oozing of blood is normal and expected, and you may notice blood in your saliva for 1-2 days. Do not rinse your mouth. Elevate your head when lying down and put a towel on your pillowcase in the evening to avoid staining linens.

     If you notice continued or excessive bleeding:   Do not panic. Locate the exact bleeding site.  Apply direct, moderate pressure to the surgical site with a moist tea bag or moist rolled up gauze with biting pressure or using your finger to apply moderate pressure for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the gauze or tea bag.  The bleeding should stop.  If there is still heavy bleeding, try a fresh tea bag or fresh gauze for an additional 20 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop, please call our office.



Begin your Stellalife or Peridex rinse (the medicated mouthwash that you were prescribed) the day after surgery. Gently swish 30-60 seconds, 2 times daily and expectorate. We recommend using it after breakfast and before bedtime. Continue the medicated rinse until post operative visit or until bottle is finished.

  *The medicated rinse can temporarily stain teeth. 


Food and Exercise

For the day of your surgery, please have cold, soft foods on hand. For the first 24 hours, keep all food and drink temperatures cold or lukewarm. Avoid any drinks that are carbonated (fizzy), anything with alcohol, or sucking from a straw for the first 72 hrs. after surgery. No excess spitting after surgery (this may dislodge regenerative materials).


 Avoid chewing on surgical sites for 14 days, or until your first post op appointment. No crunchy foods or small seeds (ex: chips, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, berries, etc.). You will be on a soft diet for several days until you feel that you can chew firmer foods. For your convenience, we have a list of suggested examples on our website under the “Surgery Instructions” tab, Soft Food Suggestions. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing. If surgical areas are in the front part of your mouth, do not bite into any foods. Cut food into bite size portions and chew on non-surgical areas (this may dislodge regenerative materials).


No heavy activity/exercise for 72 hours after surgery. Keep blood pressure down!


Alcohol and Smoking

Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications, as it could cause an adverse effect on these medications and your health. Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.


Suture Removal

You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. Never remove sutures or barrier membranes (this may dislodge regenerative materials). Sutures/membranes will be removed by the doctor at your first post op appointment. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness.



If a periodontal dressing (pink) is used, do not remove it intentionally. The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. This dressing may chip off and fall out, even as early as the first day, but try to leave it undisturbed. If it does come out, do not worry, as it is only placed to ease the discomfort and temperature sensitivity after surgery.



A common symptom (the day of surgery), due mainly to swallowing a lot of drainage (blood and saliva), but also a common reaction to many sedative, narcotic, and/or antibiotic medications. If you experience these symptoms, you may want to discontinue all milk products; drink clear liquids and/or take an over-the-counter Dramamine tablet at the first sign of nausea.


Weakness, Chills, Fever, Sensitivity

You may experience a slight feeling of weakness, chills, or fever during the first 48 hours. If your temperature exceeds 101° or persists for more than a few days, please call our office. You may experience a slight sore throat or an earache for up to a week. This is not unusual and will subside as healing occurs. Most patients experience sensitive teeth, especially to cold, which usually slowly diminishes in a month or so after surgery. 


Toothbrushing and Oral Care

It is important to maintain a high level of oral hygiene after periodontal surgery. Normal brushing and flossing procedures should be followed throughout the mouth except in the area where the surgery was performed.  This reduces the accumulation of bacteria (plaque), reduces the chances of infection, and minimizes unpleasant mouth odor. No toothbrushing, flossing or pulling on tissues around the surgical site until otherwise directed. Do not disturb the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the day following surgery.


Oral Hygiene at the Surgical Site

Do not brush or floss surgical areas for 2 weeks following surgery. Use the medicated rinse that was sent home with you to keep the area/areas clean.


Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at 512-454-6861. In case of an emergency after hours (outside of normal business hours), please call (361) 549-7140.

Soft Food Suggestions
Post-Operative Food Suggestions

Soft Food Suggestions (for after surgery)

When preparing a post-op menu, please consider some of the following Soft Food choices/suggestions:

  • ​Ensure/Slim Fast/Pure Protein shakes

  • Smoothies (no strawberries/blackberries/raspberries or seeded fruits)

  • Milk Shakes

  • Oatmeal

  • Peanut butter

  • Pancakes

  • Eggs (boiled/scrambled/egg salad, etc.)

  • Soft bread without whole grains, seeds or nuts

  • Croissants/biscuits

  • Muffins

  • Jell-O

  • Pudding

  • Apple Sauce

  • Bananas

  • Yogurt

  • Cottage cheese and other soft cheeses, like fresh mozzarella

  • Ice cream

  • Popsicles

  • Soups

  • Rice

  • Pasta with sauce

  • Lasagna

  • Macaroni & Cheese

  • Mashed Potatoes/Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • Casseroles

  • Avocado

  • Lentils (cooked)

  • Meatloaf/Chili

  • Refried beans, soft-cooked beans and bean soup

  • Silken tofu

  • Tuna/Tuna salad

  • Baked Fish

  • Soft cooked vegetables


Have a good soft food suggestion that worked well for you after your procedure, please email it to We’ll share it here!

bottom of page