Infection, Incision and Drainage

Instructions following Oral Surgeryshould be followed, in addition to these special instructions unique to your surgery.


A dressing or drain may be necessary to keep the area open and allow drainage of the infection for a period of time. Drains may be sutured in place and will need to be removed. In this case, a return appointment will be necessary for removal.

External Drains to the face or neck will have a gauze dressing covering them. This dressing should be changed a minimum of 3 times a day, (more frequently if soiled). Remove the dressing and discard, clean the area by showering, or using a wet face cloth. Wipe around the drain being careful not to pull the drain out of the incision. Pat the area dry with a clean cloth or gauze, then re-apply the gauze dressing to collect the drainage. Continue applying a dressing on the area after the drain has been removed until drainage has stopped.

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Antibiotics must be taken until completely finished. If you have a reaction to, or develop severe diarrhea while taking your antibiotics, please contact our office.


It is normal to see swelling increase in the next 24 hours after surgery when infection is present. DO NOT USE ICE.

Starting on your surgery day, heat and massage should be applied 15 minutes every hour you are awake. Place gauze in your cheek to collect drainage while using heat and massage. Discard the gauze and rinse the area thoroughly after heat and massage.


It is important you keep yourself well hydrated when infection is present. It allows your body to flush the infection from your system more effectively in conjunction with your antibiotics. Proper nutrition and hydration enhance healing.



Rinsing should be started the day of surgery. After applying heat and massage, discard the gauze and rinse the area thoroughly with your syringe and tap water. Frequent rinsing with the syringe or swish rinsing may be necessary if there is a lot of drainage. Your prescription rinse should also be used starting the day of surgery.


You may require a follow-up appointment after your surgery. This appointment may already be made for you, or you may be instructed to contact our office to schedule it. It is important you attend this appointment to assess proper healing and or removal of drains that may have been placed. Please follow the instruction given you the day of your surgery. If the prearranged appointment is not suitable, please contact our office to change your date or time.

 If you have any questions or problems, do not hesitate to call our office at Edmonton Office Phone Number 780-454-6565 or 1-800-379-9474. If your call is not answered by the answering service, hang up and call again in five minutes. We apologize for this inconvenience as the lines may be occupied by other callers. There is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon on call ALL HOURS OF THE DAY.

 WE PREFER THAT YOU CALL OUR OFFICE FIRST RATHER THAN YOUR OWN DENTIST OR FAMILY DOCTOR. However, if you are experiencing severe bleeding or breathing problems requiring IMMEDIATE ATTENTION, please proceed to the nearest Emergency Department or Dial 911.