Biopsy Recovery Instructions

Dental Biopsy Post Operative Instructions

Pain After a Biopsy

Pain medications may be required after a biopsy. If you can take ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®), take 400–600 mg every 6–8 hours or as prescribed by your doctor. Ibuprofen will help with pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory. If you cannot take ibuprofen, then 1–2 tablets of regular Tylenol® should be taken every 4 hours. If you were prescribed stronger pain medication such as Vicodin, Norco, or Lortab (hydrocodone with acetaminophen), Tylenol® with codeine, or Percocet (oxycodone with acetaminophen), you can take that in addition to your ibuprofen if the pain is severe. Follow the directions written on your prescription bottle. If you do take any of these medications, do not drive or work around machinery. Also, avoid alcohol while taking these medications. 

If the pain is severe, not controlled with your medications, or persists, call your office for further instructions.


Oral Hygiene After a Biopsy

Rinsing should not be done on the day of your biopsy. On the day after surgery, gentle rinsing with warm salt water should be done after each meal. You can brush your teeth the day after surgery but be careful not to traumatize the area where the surgery was done.


Diet After a Biopsy

If you had IV sedation or general anesthesia, liquids should be initially taken. Your diet can then progress to more solids as tolerated. Ensure adequate fluids and nutrition to prevent dehydration.


Nausea and Vomiting After a Biopsy

After IV sedation or general anesthesia, some patients may feel nauseated and vomit. To help avoid this problem, do not take your medications on an empty stomach. Take sips of clear carbonated liquids such as ginger ale or 7 Up®. Hold off on your medications, if possible, until nausea subsides. Try to stay hydrated with liquids. Sometimes patients feel nauseated from the prescribed pain medications, particularly the stronger pain medications such as hydrocodone or oxycodone (Vicodin or Percocet). Try stopping the pain medications and see if nausea subsides. If you have continued nausea and vomiting, call our office for further instructions.


Bruising and Discoloration After a Biopsy

After surgery, some patients may notice bruising or discoloration around the areas of surgery. This is normal postoperatively and can take several days to subside.


Jaw Tightness or Limited Mouth Opening After a Biopsy

This is normal following a biopsy and will improve and resolve over time. On occasion, you may be shown jaw exercises to help increase your jaw opening.


Dizziness or Light-Headedness After a Biopsy

After IV sedation or general anesthesia, some patients may feel dizzy when standing up. Always have someone watching you the first 24 hours after sedation. Do not get up quickly from a sitting or lying position, and make sure to remain hydrated with fluids.


Smoking After a Biopsy

Smoking can inhibit the healing process and can cause more pain after a biopsy. To ensure the best post-operative recovery, refrain from smoking as long as possible after surgery.