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Ellis & Lilly

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Implants

Where education, training & experience meet patient care.

Post Operative Questions

We trained at prestigious Medical Centers and choose to live and work in Clarksville!

  • Bleeding - It is normal to have some blood in your mouth for the first 24 hours after a procedure.  Gauze will be have blood on it if you take it in and out during this period.  If you take the gauze out after the recommended two hours you should see little to no oozing.  Have someone shine a light in your mouth and see if there is blood oozing from anywhere, if not leave the gauze out.  If bleeding persists, roll up a firm gauze pack (or tea bag), moisten it and insert it over the site.  Keep firm pressure over the site for an additional 30 minutes.  This should take care of the problem.  The most common reason for bleeding is inadequate packing & pressure over the site.  Other reasons can be talking too much or too much activity.  Patients rarely need to return for bleeding, but if you think it isn't doing as it should, contact us.


  • Pain Management - Keep your head, back and shoulders elevated at least 30 degrees; take your pain medication as directed; keep your activity down for the first three days unless you have been told otherwise


  • Swelling - head back and shoulder elevation is your best defense against swelling.   You may apply ice if you wish.  Heat should not be applied because it tends to promote swelling.  Swelling may peak at the third post-operative day then slowly return to normal by the 7th to 10th day.  Normal swelling is soft and somewhat warm to the touch.   Firm painful swelling may need to be checked by our doctors.


  • Infection - This is usually rare and generally doesn't occur till days after a procedure.  It is highly unusual to have an infection from a procedure the day of the procedure.


  • Numbness - most numbness will go away after 6 to 8 hours.  If you are still numb the day after your procedure, do not be alarmed, it will get better 99% of the time.  We will check it on your post-op visits.


  • Dry Socket - Dry sockets result from a loss of the clot in the extraction site.  Smoking and Birth Control Pills are casually related to dry sockets.   Dry socket pain is usually related to a lower tooth and will hurt from the ear radiating to the lower front teeth. They occur as early as 72 hours post-op to 10 days post-op.  Treatment usually entails washing the socket out and placing a medicated dressing in the socket.   You may try applying Ora-Gel.


  • Sutures - Some sutures dissolve and will fall out spontaneously in 3-7 days.  Others may last longer.  Sometimes we use sutures that will need removal.   These will be looked at the day you return for your post-op visit.


  • Activity -  You should not drive for 24 hours after intravenous anesthesia or while taking narcotic pain medications.  You should take at least two days off from work or school.  Avoid contact sports or strenuous exercise for at least 7 days.  You should avoid blowing your nose for two weeks if you had an upper back tooth removed.


  • Charges for Post-Operative Visits - Generally there are no charges for follow-up visits.  Rarely there is a charge, but this is usually related to something that needs to be done that goes beyond normal post-op treatment.


  • QUESTIONS - Any concerns should be addressed with our office.  This information is not presented as a substitute for appropriate treatment