Patient Care Instructions Following Endodontic Surgery

  1. Avoid strenuous exercise for the remainder of the day. Smoking and alcohol consumption delay wound healing and should be avoided for 3 days following surgery. Physical exertion or heavy lifting should not be performed for 7 to 10 days after your surgery.
  2. Apply an ice pack with firm pressure to your face directly over the surgical site. You should apply the ice pack alternately 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 6 to 8 hours following your surgery. After 8 hours, the ice bag should not be applied. Frequent moist heat applications to your face are recommended on the second and third post surgical days. To make an ice pack, fill one half of a zip lock bag with water and the rest with 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, seal and then freeze.
  3. Slight swelling and facial skin discoloration (bruising) may appear following surgery and will gradually disappear in a few days. Some oozing of blood from the surgical site is normal during the day and evening following the surgery. If actual bleeding occurs, please call the office.
  4. Avoid manipulation of your facial tissues as much as possible. Do NOT raise your lip or retract your cheeks to look at the surgical site. Try to sleep on your back or away from the side on which your surgery was done. It is possible to tear loose the stitches accidentally, which will open the incision and substantially delay wound healing.
  5. Please make sure to maintain an adequate diet during the first 3 to 4 days following your surgery. Eat a soft or liquid diet such as nutritional supplements, mashed potatoes, pureed meats, cooked eggs, fruit juices, soups, etc. Avoid crunchy, hard or chewy foods such as crackers, toast, steak and the like until the sutures has been removed. Drink plenty of liquids.
  6. Post surgical discomfort should be minimal after the second day but the surgical site may remain tender and sore for 4 to 5 days following your surgery. Please have your prescriptions filled as soon as possible and follow the directions on the labels. If you develop any unusual reactions (itching, rash, breathing difficulties, etc.), please stop taking the medication and call the office immediately.
  7. Do NOT brush the surgical site for at least 10 days following the surgery. Do brush other parts of your mouth and use a warm salt rinse, if desired, after meals. (1/4 to ½ teaspoon salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water). Rinse with Peridex as directed beginning on the day after surgery.
  8. Rest as much as possible the first 24 hours. Elevate your head with at least two pillows when lying or at bedtime. Sleep on your back or away from the surgical site.
  9. The sutures (stitches) should be removed in 3 to 7 days to ensure proper healing. Make sure to return at the appointed time for removal.
  10. Recall visits are necessary. These are short appointments that are very important to monitor the progress of healing. Recall appointments will be scheduled during the first few weeks following surgery and another appointment 6 months after surgery.