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When you receive a surgical dental treatment at SoCalSmiles Dental Office, our caring team of dental professionals will provide you with surgical instructions prior to your procedure. We invite you to contact us at 818-345-5286 if you have any questions and for more information on your surgical instructions. Your comfort and care are our top priority, and our dentists and team work hard to make sure that your treatments are comfortable.

Our dentists in Tarzana, California, offer several sets of surgical instructions, depending on the type of surgical treatment you are receiving. Our surgical instructions include information for your care prior to receiving a general anesthetic, following dental implant surgery, and following tooth extractions.

Before General Anesthesia

There are several things you must do prior to an appointment where you will receive a general anesthetic. These include:

  • Fasting – fasting must begin at midnight the night before surgery, or at least 8 hours before your scheduled surgery. While fasting, you may only drink clear fluids, such as water, sports drinks, or apple juice. Do not drink alcohol, milk, or other opaque drinks. Avoid drinking all fluids within 6 hours of your surgery.
  • Do not take MAO inhibitors, anti-coagulants, aspirins, anti-depressants, or anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 2 days prior to your surgery. You can, however, take cardiac and pulmonary medications, anti-seizure medications, steroids, and anti-Parkinson’s mediations before your surgery.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use tobacco products within 24 hours of your surgery, and abstain from drinking or using them for 24 hours after your surgery.

On the day of your surgery, make sure to:

  • Have a licensed driver to take you home after your appointment, and have someone to stay with you for at least 12 hours after your surgery. Please remember that minors are required to have a parent or guardian present during the entirety of your surgical procedure.
  • Brush your teeth as usual, but do not swallow any water or toothpaste.
  • Do not wear nail polish or makeup.
  • If you wear contact lenses, please remove them. Also remove any jewelry and dentures, if you use them.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is loose and shoes with flat soles.

If you experience any health changes the morning of your surgery, please contact our office immediately. Changes in your health could affect your procedure in dangerous ways, and we need to be aware of any factors that may influence your health or the outcome of your treatment. If necessary, we will reschedule your appointment.

After Dental Implant Surgery

If you are receiving dental implants, you must take special care of your mouth following your implant placement. For the first month or so following your implant placement, the titanium rod will be integrating with the bone, and your at-home care routine will be more involved than usual. It is important that you do not disturb the wound during the initial period of healing.

During the first 24 hours after your surgery, you should avoid:

  • Rinsing
  • Spitting
  • Touching the mouth

Our dentists will provide you with specific instructions following your dental implant surgery. Please follow them closely.

  • Antibiotics – we will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Use all rinses and other medications as direct.
  • Bleeding – blood in the saliva is normal during the first 24 hours following your surgery. Gently, biting down on gauze can help to lessen the residual bleeding.
  • Diet – initially, you should only eat soft foods, but you can resume a normal diet as soon as you feel capable of doing so. Please remember to stay hydrated.
  • Hygiene – your teeth must be kept clean to allow the surgical site to heal properly. Brush as normal, but avoid stitches, and do not brush the implant. The antibiotics provided will take care of disinfecting your implant.
  • Pain management – begin taking pain medication before your anesthetic wears off. You can use any over-the-counter medication you wish.
  • Smoking – smoking after dental implant surgery increases your risk of infection. Our dentists recommend that you avoid smoking for a minimum of 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Swelling – swelling is expected following your procedure. Minimize your swelling by keeping your head elevated, using ice packs as often as you feel you need, and lowering your activity level.
  • Wearing your prosthesis or night guard – Do not use night guards or dental prosthesis (such as partial dentures or retainers) for at least 10 days following your surgery.

If you have any questions about your oral care following dental implant surgery, please contact our office.

After Tooth Extractions

After your tooth extraction procedure, you should:

  • Keep pressure on the gauze pad to reduce bleeding, and change out the pad as needed.
  • Keep your head elevated.
  • Rinse your mouth out with warm salt water every 1-2 hours.
  • Keep your mouth clean by brushing around the surgical site.
  • Use ice packs to control swelling.
  • Use prescribed medications as directed.
  • Eat soft foods.
  • Keep your body hydrated, but do not use a straw for 5-7 days.
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products for 3-4 days to avoid infections and dry socket.

If you experience any unusual aftereffects, such as continued bleeding, excessive swelling, or unusual pain, please contact our office as soon as possible.