4101 Balmoral Dr SE
Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 882-0255

surgery information

Pre-op Instructions for Surgery Patients
(printable instructions are available here)

We understand that having a periodontal surgical procedure is not a part of your daily routine. We strive to make you as comfortable as possible. Our commitment is to provide you with an optimal level of care.

Please feel free to ask any questions before surgery to make this appointment as easy for you as possible.

Day before Surgery

  • Our office will contact you by phone (the business day before your surgery) to go over pre-op instructions.
  • Dr. Hammond will call in 3 - 4 prescriptions (antibiotic, steroid, prescription mouthwash, and pain medication/or you may be given a handwritten prescription for pain medication when you arrive the morning of your surgery).  These prescriptions are usually ready for pickup at your pharmacy in the late afternoon the day before your surgery.  You must pick them up at this time because you will need them on the morning of your surgery.
  • If conscious I.V. sedation is being employed, you should not consume any food or water past midnight (or as instructed) the night before your surgery is scheduled.
  • Also, please do not consume any alcohol the night before your surgery.  If you feel you will have difficulty sleeping the night before, please make our staff aware of the problem and a possible sleep aid may be prescribed.
  • Please take your usual medications with a small amount of water, unless advised otherwise.  If you use an inhaler or take Nitroglycerin tablets, please bring them with you.

Day of Surgery

  • You will need to take the prescribed antibiotic (with a small sip of water) one hour before your scheduled surgery time.
  • Plan to be in our office at least thirty minutes before your scheduled appointment time. This will allow enough time to complete necessary forms, schedule a post op appointment and fulfill previously made financial arrangements.
  • Please wear loose, comfortable, warm clothing with short sleeves or long sleeves that can be easily rolled up. A shirt or blouse that unbuttons down the front is helpful.
  • Please arrange to have a responsible adult monitor you for the first 24 hours. If you have received I.V. sedation, you must have an adult drive you home and refrain from operating a motor vehicle for 24 hours after surgery.
  • Generally hard, chewy or warm foods and drinks should be avoided immediately following surgery. Cool, soft foods such as ice cream, yogurt and Jell-O are suggested immediately after surgery. Liquids such as Instant Breakfast, Ensure and Gatorade can be helpful. Soft solids such as creamed potatoes, overcooked vegetables, soups and overcooked pasta are nutritious and easy to ingest, and may be added the day following surgery.  Recommended foods for Diabetic patients:  Glucerna, Carnation Instant Breakfast (no sugar added or fat free), Sugar Free Pudding, Blue Bunny Ice Cream (no sugar added or fat free), Light Yogurt (artificially sweetened), Sugar Busters Yogurt, Tomato Soup, Cream of Chicken Soup

We are dedicated to providing the highest level of care possible. You will be carefully monitored throughout your surgery appointment and will never be left unattended.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office at (256) 882-0255 if you have any questions concerning your surgery.


Post-Surgical Instructions
(printable version available here)

  If a protective dressing has been placed over the surgical area, avoid this area when eating or cleaning.  The dressing does not have to remain in place for the procedure to be successful, but tenderness may increase if it is loosened or removed prematurely. 

Eating:  Please wait until the numbness is no longer present, before attempting to eat.  If necessary to get something on your stomach prior to taking medication, something cool and soft (ice cream, yogurt, jello) would be indicated.  Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may be able to eat soft food carefully in the areas of your mouth that are not involved.  Soups, creamed potatoes, overcooked pasta and vegetables are suggested.  Please avoid hot foods for a few hours following surgery as this can increase bleeding.  If a liquid diet is consumed, fortified liquids such as Instant Breakfast or Ensure are nutritious.

Cleaning:  Areas of your mouth not involved in the procedure may be cleaned as usual.  Avoid cleaning the surgical area(s) with toothbrush or floss.  Antibacterial rinse (Peridex) may have been prescribed to clean surgical area(s).  Avoid rinsing for 24 hours following any extractions.  If no rinse was prescribed, gently clean the teeth in the surgical area with Q-tips moistened with water or mouthwash.

Bleeding:  Red-tinged saliva is not unusual for a few hours following a procedure. Cool water rinses or chipped ice held in the area will minimize this.  Areas that continue to seep may be controlled by gentle, constant pressure, with cool water moistened gauze.  A cool water moistened teabag applied with gentle pressure to the area is also helpful in controlling seepage.  If this persists, or is of moderate or greater amounts please contact us.

Swelling:  Swelling should reach a maximum 2 – 3 days following your procedure, and then begin to subside.  It may be minimized by applying an ice bag externally, off and on for 15 minute periods, as much as possible for the first 24 hours only.

Discomfort:  Discomfort should be manageable with the medication prescribed.  Allow 45 – 60 minutes for the medication to take effect.  Taking your medication as directed, while still numb, will aid in the control of the onset of discomfort.  Discomfort should maximize during the first 24 – 72 hours after your surgery, and then begin to decrease.  If discomfort decreases, then begins to increase again, contact the office.

Conscious I.V. Sedation:  If intravenous sedation has been used, please take it easy the remainder of the day.  You should be attended to by a responsible adult for the first 24 hours.  You should NOT operate any motor vehicles the remainder of the day.  If the I.V. site is more than slightly tender for 24 – 48 hours, please contact the office.

Medications:  If there are any questions or problems regarding your medications, please contact the office.  In general, antibiotics should be taken as prescribed until finished.  Antibacterial rinse (Peridex) should be used until directed to discontinue.  Pain medications should be taken only as needed.  Over the counter medications (Tylenol, Advil) may be used when possible.  Aspirin may be taken, although excessive use could increase the tendency to bleed.  Steroid Dose Packs (Dexamethasone) should be taken exactly according to the package instructions.

Emergencies:  If any questions or unexpected effects from your procedure occur during office hours, please contact the office.  If an after hours/weekend emergency or question arises, Dr. Hammond may be contacted by cell phone at 256-604-9165.  If Dr. Hammond is out of town, the recording accessed by dialing the office number will inform you who is on call for him, and how to contact them.

Click here for a printable version of these instructions


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