What to Expect: Medication Instructions

a man and a woman and children posing for a picture together in a park with a house in the background

The time after any dental or oral surgery can be confusing to patients, who might have questions about home care and other procedure. Medication is just one aspect of good recovery practices, and knowing how you can aid your body on the journey toward better health helps you to plan for the days after your treatment.

Before you undergo any kind of oral surgery, Dr. Sonny Kim will consult with you and tell you all of the details for your procedure, according to your specific medical history, health conditions, current medications and more. But here are some common guidelines of what patients can usually expect in terms of medication instructions after oral surgery.

Pain Medications

Many patients are prescribed pain medications after oral surgery, unless there’s some reason why a particular medication shouldn’t be used. Some patients may not have very much pain at all – and some will have more.

Dr. Kim often recommends taking some over-the-counter Motrin or Ibuprofen after the procedure every six hours, according to pharmacy instructions. Some patients may be prescribed something like Percocet or Vicodin.

It’s important to monitor your pain and plan accordingly. If you don’t need any of the stronger narcotic drugs, you’ll typically be advised not to take them. If you do take the stronger narcotics, Dr. Kim will go over some of the things to watch out for, including possible dependency, and will also mention that you shouldn’t drive while taking these narcotics. Pharmacists will back up that warning, which is commonly printed on the medications themselves. It’s dangerous to drive on these painkillers because of their sedative qualities.

Pain control after oral surgery is very much a “work as you go” process. We have medication prescriptions available for patients as needed, and we want to make sure that you’re comfortable without overdoing the pain medication – so keeping in touch and following up is essential.


Some types of patients are given antibiotics after a dental or oral surgery procedure.

In general, the role of anabiotics is to make sure that bacteria don’t create a secondary infection. There are various factors to consider in prescribing antibiotics. The important thing to understand is that if doctors have prescribed antibiotics, it’s important to take that full course of anabiotics according to the directions that you’re given. Anabiotics aren’t like pain medications, where you just use them until you feel like you don’t need them anymore. The entire course of medication is designed to make sure the body has the tools to fight off bacterial infection!

Peridex and Perioguard

These types of medication are used for rinsing out the mouth. In some cases, Dr. Kim will instead recommend rinsing with warm salt water.

If you have been prescribed one of these rinse medications, you’ll want to rinse twice a day for one week, and then proceed according to specific doctors’ instructions. In cases where there’s been a dental implant, you’ll want to keep the implant site clean. Dr. Kim can tell you much more about what to expect with each particular procedure or surgery.

At Advanced Family Dentistry, we have your welfare, convenience and comfort in mind. We want to help you through every stage of your procedure, including follow-up and recovery. Ask us any questions you may have about post-operative procedure and how to best recover from an oral surgery.

Extremely experienced and knowledgeable

I can’t believe the negative reviews posted on the site for Reston Dental, but I guess everyone has an opinion. I was new to the area when I decided to have work done at Dr. Kim’s office, and I am so overly pleased with the outcome of my dental work. I recently had 2 crowns done as well as extractions with bone graph, and I was very surprised and grateful that I didn’t have to take pain meds. I must say that I get anxiety when dental work is involved, but Dr. Kim is extremely experienced and knowledgeable in his profession, and his assistants were very patient and caring. His performance is so up to date and done right the first time, and it’s easy to see the difference when Helen (the office manager & wife) compared my past work from another dentist to Dr. Kim’s work. I also loved the renovated office as well as the over all atmosphere of the entire office staff. I’m actually encouraging my sister to have her implant work completed at Dr. Kim’s office. I will continue to have my dental work done at Dr. Kim’s office, and would be willing to travel any distance, and I would refer anyone to Advanced Family Dentistry.

Gina M., Herndon, VA