Post Surgery Irrigation Instructions

These will be reviewed with you at your postoperative visit and, if indicated, you will be given an irrigation syringe with written instructions and shown how to irrigate wounds to help avoid a postoperative infection.

Lower Sockets

Irrigate the lower sockets at least 1x /day for 6 weeks. This can be done more often than 1 x /day, but not less. The reason to irrigate these areas is that no matter how well you brush and rinse your teeth, gravity will trap small particles of food into the lower sockets. These sockets WILL fill in with bone over the next 6-8 weeks. If food is trapped in the socket, healing is altered and your body will form an abscess around this food. This abscess would need to be drained and possibly cleaned out surgically. Flushing out the lower sockets and cleaning them will help prevent an infection and also prevent any bad taste or bad breath.

Upper Sockets

The upper sockets DO NOT need to be irrigated. As long as you brush and rinse normally, gravity will pull food down and into the mouth and these will heal on their own, usually with no other care needed.

The IRRIGATION MIXTURE to use is as follows:

Get an 8 oz. glass and fill with tap water

Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the glass

Add 2-3 capfuls of Hydrogen Peroxide (this is found at any pharmacy)

Suck up the above mixture in the syringe we provided to you. Guide the tip of the syringe INTO the LOWER sockets and irrigate with mixture above. At each session, irrigate each LOWER socket until there is clear drainage (i.e. no food particles coming out that you see when you spit into the sink). You may notice some slight bleeding the first few times you irrigate – this is normal and if it doesn’t stop on its own in 30 minutes, bite on gauze or a tea bag for one hour.