Surgical Instructions


Medical Changes

Please inform Dr. Caplanis of any changes in your medical history, physical condition or use of any medications or drugs which were not previously reported.


If you normally take prescription medications, continue on your regular schedule unless specifically told not to by Dr. Caplanis. If you are taking blood thinners or anti-coagulants such as Aspirin or Coumadin, you may need to discontinue their use prior to surgery. Our doctors will explain the protocol.

Medical Consultations

If a consultation with your physician was requested by our doctors, the consultation documents must by received prior to the surgical procedure. If pre-surgical blood work was ordered, it must be completed 3-5 days prior to surgery and received prior to the surgical procedure.


If prescriptions were written for you prior to the surgery, have them filled and ready before surgery to ensure proper dosage scheduling. Begin taking the antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications as well as the Peridex™ rinses one day prior to surgery.


Smoking severely compromises healing. Completely refrain from smoking at least 1 week before and after surgery.

Oral Hygiene

Special attention must be given to oral hygiene prior to surgery. Spend extra time brushing along the gum line and flossing your teeth prior to the surgery in order to minimize the bacteria in your mouth.

Dental Appliances

If you wear partials or dentures, please bring them with you on the day of surgery.


Have a good night of sleep before the surgery.



Bleeding is well controlled prior to your discharge. However, some amount of oozing is perfectly normal. If gauze was placed in your mouth keep it in for approximately 1-2 hours. You may replace this gauze as needed with new gauze given to you. Apply pressure with gauze manually or by biting with gauze over the surgical site if bleeding continues. If you run out of gauze you may use a wet tea bag or purchase gauze from any pharmacy. Refrain from vigorous rinsing and spitting for the first 24 hours to prevent blood clot destabilization. If profuse bleeding unexpectedly occurs and is uncontrollable, call our office.


Apply cold packs to the face adjacent to the affected surgical areas for the first 48 hours to reduce swelling. Cold packs are to be applied intermittently 15 minutes on 15 minutes off. Starting on the third post-operative day, heat packs may be used in the same manner as above to reduce any residual swelling. In addition, warm salt water rinses may begin on the third post-operative day. Use a tall glass of tap water as warm as you can tolerate, mix in a teaspoon of salt and rinse and expectorate. Moderate swelling is normal. As long as you are comfortable, do not be alarmed.


Moderate amounts of discomfort can be expected from all minor oral surgical procedures. Continue taking the prescribed pain medications as directed. Do not allow the pain to catch up with you. Take the medications on schedule to help control as well as prevent the pain. If severe pain occurs or if you are uncomfortable and cannot gain relief by taking the prescribed medications as directed, please call our office.


It is imperative that you take all medications as prescribed. Antibiotics are often prescribed to prevent infection and must be taken for the full 7 to 10 days to be effective. Anti-inflammatory and pain medications are prescribed to prevent and reduce swelling and pain.


Long acting local anesthetics are commonly used. Therefore, you may expect numbness of the gum tissues, lips and tongue for as long as 12 hours. Great care must be exercised to prevent biting or maceration of the lips and tongue. If numbness persists after 12 hours, call our office.


Minor amounts of bruising around the cheeks, lips, neck and face are normal. However, if the bruised area extends over the neck area and enlarges over your chest please call our office.


Do not disturb your stitches. Both dissolvable and non-dissolvable stitches are commonly used. Dissolvable stitches will begin to untie in 1 to 2 weeks. If you feel the stitches are coming undone before 3 days or if you feel loose excess gum tissue, please call our office.


Following surgery, a SOFT diet must be maintained for at least 2 weeks in order to minimize trauma to the surgical sites which can effect healing. In some situations, a longer period of time is required. Our doctors will discuss this with you if you require a longer liquid diet period. Following this initial liquid diet period, a soft diet is recommended for the remainder of the healing period. Try to chew on sides not affected by surgery if possible.


A special mouth rinse, Peridex (or its generic) was given or prescribed to you. It is vital to rinse with this solution two to three times per day for three minutes at a time. Toothpaste interferes with Peridex. Therefore, rinse with the Peridex one hour before or after toothpaste use, or discontinue toothpaste use with tooth brushing. Peridex is an antibacterial agent and will help keep the healing surgical areas clean. Do not be alarmed if Peridex causes tooth staining or changes taste perception. The staining is removable and taste sensation will return when Peridex is discontinued. In addition to the Peridex rinsing, (or if Peridex was not prescribed) continue brushing as usual in all other areas (excluding the surgical sites), using a medium or soft bristle toothbrush, and exercise great care to prevent trauma from your toothbrush to the surgical sites.


Following certain surgical procedures, a periodontal dressing may be used to cover and protect the surgical site. If a dressing was placed in your mouth, try not to disturb it with hard foods or by brushing. It is common for pieces of the dressing material to come loose. If this occurs within the first two days following surgery, call the office. The area may need to be re-dressed. If the dressing comes loose after this time, continue with proper oral hygiene as outlined above.


Limit moderate to high physical activity for two weeks following surgery. This includes jogging or running, aerobics, and heavy housework. Walking and light housework is permitted as tolerated.

Alcohol and Tobacco

Refrain from alcohol consumption for 24 hours following surgery and 48 hours if IV anesthetics were used. Smoking severely compromises tissue healing. Refrain from smoking for as long as possible or at least 2 weeks following surgery.