Common Oral Surgery Treatment Questions


We have identified some common oral surgery treatment questions you may have. Browse through the questions below to have your concerns addressed. If you still have questions, please call our office at (512) 280-1216!



When can I eat? 

Your mouth will usually be numb from local anesthesia for several hours, but once the numbness is gone you will find yourself hungry. Eating the wrong food too soon can cause a significant amount of pain at the extraction site. It’s very important to follow each step of aftercare given by your dentist after a tooth extraction to avoid infections and other problems.



What can I eat after my procedure?

You should restrict your diet to cool liquids for the first 3 hours after surgery due to the effects of the local anesthesia.  After the first 3 hours, cool and soft foods are easier to tolerate.  However, your soreness at the surgical site is generally the best guide to your choice of foods.  The doctor will discuss with you when you can start eating normal foods. Continue to brush your teeth as normally as possible, and use frequent oral rinsing with water (especially after eating) to keep your mouth clean.  This is very important to prevent infection and/or delayed healing.



Can I drink out of a straw?

No, avoid spitting, or drinking beverages with a straw until the doctor says otherwise.


When should I start taking my medications?

The degree of postoperative pain experience will depend on the procedure.  If an anti-inflammatory pain medicine (non-narcotic) was prescribed, take as directed.  Otherwise ibuprofen 400 to 800mg may be taken after every 4-6 hours.  The prescribed narcotic pain medicine is meant to be used only if additional help is needed at the expense of more side effects such as drowsiness, nausea (if taken on an empty stomach), and constipation.  Do not drink alcohol beverages, drive or operate machinery while taking this medicine. 




Do I need to take the antibiotics?

When indicated, antibiotics will be prescribed to minimize the risk of infection, so it is to your benefit to take them. If you have a history of complications with antibiotic use such as diarrhea or yeast infections, please discuss your situation with the doctor or their staff.


Why is the medication making me nauseated?

Medications affect everyone differently. Taking your medications with food and/or at least 8oz of water will help prevent nausea. Nausea is a well-known complication of narcotic medications. In the majority of cases, narcotics (Vicodin, Percocet, Tylenol #3, etc.) will be the culprit when a patient is feeling nauseated. Take as little narcotic pain reliever as necessary to take the edge off. If nausea continues for more than a day, call our office.



Why do I need another consult if I just saw my dentist?

If your planned procedure involves a single extraction or other simple procedure, a consult visit will likely not be required. For more involved procedures, a consultation is needed because this will be the first time the doctor will be assessing your situation.  They need to review your medical history, dental history, x-rays, and other information to make their own clinical diagnosis before any treatment is done.


When are the holes going to close up?

Gum tissue will eventually close up within 7 10 days and then smooth itself out over the next 3 4 weeks. However everyone is different when it comes to healing.


What is dry socket?

Dry socket occurs when an extraction site is not able to maintain a blood clot. This results in exposure of the underlying bone. Nerve endings become inflamed leading to a persistent throbbing discomfort. In normal extraction site healing, the blood clot will stay in place long enough to nourish and protect the socket until the next phase of healing is underway. Dry socket simply means that the clot has been lost prematurely. The dry socket phenomena is a temporary condition, and the socket will heal normally. 


How long do I have to wait to get a tooth on my implant?

One of the most important factors affecting the time needed for bone to heal to implants is the inherent density of your bone. Generally, it is best to wait 2 months for the implants to stabilize in the lower jaw (dense bone), and 4 months in the upper jaw (softer bone). A temporary tooth that has little or no biting pressure can often be placed on the implant during the healing period.


Am I going to feel nauseated when I wake up from surgery?

Nausea following office anesthesia is very rare. We find that most cases of nausea begin at home and are related to narcotic pain mediation. We routinely give anti-nausea medication with your IV anesthesia and this will help combat nausea during the first 12 hours or so.


What if I wake up during anesthesia?

We constantly monitor the status of your awareness during your procedure. When indicated, we give a constant stream of anesthetic medication at a precise dose (known as an infusion) through a microprocessor-controlled pump. These advanced anesthesia techniques assure a safe and effective level of anesthesia for the duration of your procedure.


Will I be able to go back to work after surgery?

Following more involved surgical procedures you should get plenty of rest. Wait at least 2 – 3 days after surgery to resume exercise, sports, or other physical activities. Depending on the intensity of your surgery you may need more days to recover. So always check with your surgeon and they will give you all the information you may need on the recovery process. 

Still have questions? Please call our office at (512) 280-1216 and we are happy to answer any remaining questions or concerns.