Post-Operative Instructions

After your surgery at Northern Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, following these instructions will help to make you more comfortable and they will aid your body in the healing process. They will also help to prevent complications from the surgery you have undergone.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us for further guidance. You can call our offices at any time, day or night. After office hours our answering service will take your call and will page the doctors immediately upon your request.

General instructions

  • Do not smoke until the surgery sites are completely healed.
  • Do not use drinking straws for several days.
  • Keep your head upright at all times. In bed, use pillows to keep your head elevated.
  • Limit your physical activities for several days.
  • Do not rinse your mouth or spit for 24 hours.
  • Do not drive for 24 hours if you have been under anesthesia.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking pain medication.

The day of surgery (when you return home)

  • Immediately after surgery, bite down firmly to make sure the gauze stays in place over the surgery sites. Do not touch the sites with your tongue or with your fingers.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly, as soon as you arrive home. You may remove the gauze temporarily afterwards.
  • Drink 4 oz. of carbonated, non-caffeinated beverage such as ginger ale until your stomach settles. Then add beverages like water, tea, broths, soups, juices.
  • Eat a little. Only soft foods such as custard, pudding, yogurt, banana, soft-cooked eggs, should be eaten.
  • Take your medications. Eat before taking severe pain medication. Begin slowly, adding medication as needed. Pain will be most intense the first 6-8 hours after surgery.
  • Place clean gauze into your mouth and bite down for at least an hour. Repeat one or two times as needed to reduce bleeding and stimulate clotting over the surgery sites.
  • Immediately after you place the new gauze in your mouth, apply an ice bag to your cheek or jaw. Apply for 30 minutes, then remove for 30 minutes. Repeat for 24 hours, except while sleeping. Ice is only helpful the first 24 hours.

24 hours after surgery

  • Dissolve one teaspoon of salt into an 8 oz. glass of warm water. Rinse your mouth gently with this salt water. Be careful not to rinse strenuously or you might dislodge the clotted blood over the surgery sites, which can slow healing.
  • Rinse with salt water (see above) four times daily for five days. Rinsing flushes away food particles, which often lodge around surgery sites.
  • Brush your teeth if you wish, carefully, and take care to avoid the surgery sites.
  • If you experience swelling or stiffness, apply moist heat to your cheek or jaw. Apply moist heat for no more than 20 minutes at a time, then remove the heat for the remainder of the hour. Anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin or Advil may also help reduce your swelling.


  • Pain medications must be taken on a full stomach.
  • Antibiotics must be taken on a partially empty stomach unless we have given you special instructions.
  • Do not stop taking your antibiotics before you have taken all that have been prescribed.
  • Do not drive or drink alcohol while taking pain medication.
  • Please call for prescription refills during regular office hours.

Pain following surgery

  • Pain is most severe during the 6-8 hours following surgery.
  • Begin your pain medication slowly, adding slowly if pain persists.
  • Do not wait for pain to become unbearable before taking more medication, since this may make it more difficult to control.
  • By the third day, you should be experiencing minimal pain or discomfort. Please call the office if you continue to experience moderate pain after 3-4 days, since this may be caused by early loss of the blood clot (called dry socket) or infection.

Sinus precautions (if your surgery involves or is situated near sinuses)

  • Do not blow your nose.
  • Do not sneeze through your nose. Be sure to keep your mouth open if you feel the need to sneeze.
  • Avoid swimming and strenuous exercise for at least one week.
  • Remember to call us if you have questions about any of these instructions. If you have called after office hours and haven’t received a call back within a half hour, please call us again, in case we have not received the page from our service.


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Three Convenient Locations to Serve You

We have three locations in the Northern Virginia area including Annandale, Manassas and Woodbridge. To find an office near you, click the link below.

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Our patients leave smiling


I had my wisdom teeth removed by dr.briola he did an amazing job and his staff. They knew i was nervous and they made me feel comfortable explained c everything before doing anything and after care was exception also. I had very little pain and i recommend this office to everyone. Thank you Dr. B AND STAFF.

Melinda M.

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Very happy with the service and professionalism of entire staff. I was able to get an appointment very quickly, procedure was explained clearly, expectations were met and overall experience satisfactory. Made new appointments for mi other children and already recommended your services to friends.

Vincent M.

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So friendly, professional and most of all, very welcoming with the very first warm smile of the office team once I stepped in the clinic! I loved Dr. Julia Jackson’s sense of humor, relieving my nurviousness, not mentioning her and her team’s outstanding listening to patient’s needs, and thorough understanding and support.

Ahmed A.

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Julia Jackson and her staff showed me great kindness. Had an emergency procedure that was taken care of the same day. Dr. Jackson personally called to check on me that same night. It’s comforting to know that there are still professionals that care about their patients. I highly recommend her if you’re in need of her services.

Joann C.

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Everyone at this office was so nice and accommodating. I got sent here from the Manassas office. Dr. Jackson was very detailed in going over the procedure and what to expect. Overall a great experience (well as great as getting your wisdom teeth removed can be)

Sindy A.

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The service was very professional and the doctor was very attentive. The dental assistants made me feel very comfortable because I was very nervous. The wait time was short and the procedure was short as well. They talked me through all the steps before and after my wisdom teeth removal.

Sara F.

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Team Woodbridge, Northern Virginia Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, Thank you so much for the great experience! Yes, great! From the first phone call until the end of my procedure (4 Wisdom Teeth extracted) – Nice, Professional, Friendly, Engaged, Sincere Care! THE BEST! God bless you all!

Myra M.

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Aside from not remembering much when I got my wisdom teeth pulled (which I completely appreciate), my experience was fantastic. Everything was very quick and thorough. The staff was very professional and provided great customer service. I felt like they were taking care of me.

Kari M.

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