Patient Information

To prepare for your surgery, we recommend the following:
  • Organise a carer to look after you for 24 hours following your procedure. This means a family member or friend who can collect you from Canberra Surgicentre and stay with you for the next 24 hours. If you do not have a carer you cannot have surgery.
  • You will be provided with a prescription for pain relief and antibiotics on the day of your surgery. In addition to these medications it is also important to have a supply of Ibuprofen at home, provided you do not have an allergy. Your recovery nurse will discuss this with you and your carer further before you head home.
  • If your procedure requires x-rays it is essential that we have these on the day of surgery. Often these have been provided to us already and we have them on file, however you may still have your x-ray or scan in your possession – you must make sure to bring it with you on the day of your procedure. If we do not have this we will have to cancel and reschedule your surgery. If you require a new scan please contact us to arrange this.
  • Do not smoke for at least 24 hours to your procedure and for the 7 days following, as smoking will increase the risk of infection or dry socket.
  • Payment is due at the time of your admission for surgery. Please make sure to have payment ready for the day. Please note you may need to check with your bank regarding your daily withdrawal limit if paying with EFTPOS, or check with your private health fund to find out how much they will cover of your fee. If you are unable to make payment on the day your surgery will be cancelled.  We are unable to submit health fund claims manually, so make sure to bring your private health fund card on the day of your admission to take advantage of our Hicaps facilities.
  •  It is important to use ice packs following a dental extraction. Please have ice packs at home ready to use, or if you are travelling from interstate bring some ice packs with you to use on the trip home. They are useful for at least the first 12 to 24 hours following surgery.
  • We suggest you have your food organised at home. Following surgery we recommend soft food for a number of days, and soft, cold food for the first 24 hour period. Having some meals prepared at home will help in the recovery period.
  • On your day of surgery, please leave jewellery at home and remove any nail polish. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and fully enclosed shoes. You will be given a hospital gown and hospital booties to wear over your clothes in theatre.
  • We do have designated car parking at the rear of Canberra Surgicentre for our patients. Please use the driveway to the left hand side of the building to access the car park. There is a rear entry door into the building as well.
  • Read through the information you were provided with at the time of booking your surgery, and if you have any other questions please feel free to contact us to discuss.
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Prior To Surgery

Prior To Surgery

Patient Information Form

Please complete your Patient Information Form prior to admission, providing as much detail about your medical history as possible. It is important for us to know:

  • Any allergies to medications or food
  • Any adverse reactions with anaesthetic, pain relief, or antibiotics
  • History of any infectious diseases (e.g., Hepatitis, HIV, recent COVID-19)
Arrange a Carer

Arrange for a responsible adult to come with you for admission and escort you home after your procedure.

  • You MUST HAVE an adult carer with you for 24 hours following surgery.


Smoking & Vaping

You are advised to:

  • Not smoke or vape for at least 5 days before your surgery and 7 days after.
  • This is to prevent infection and ‘dry socket’ which can cause severe pain 1-3 days after surgery.
Refrain from Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol for 24-36 hours before surgery.


Please bring your X-rays on the day of surgery if they have not already been provided to your surgeon.



If you are taking any regular medications, including diabetic medications and blood thinners (aspirin or Warfarin), please check with the surgeon or GP for advice about the need to stop your medication before surgery. Ensure that you have paracetamol and ibuprofen at home.


Please complete your Patient Information Form prior to

If you have been provided with a prescription for pain relief and antibiotics, please ensure that you have purchased these medications prior to your surgery.

Some patients will receive their prescription on the day of surgery, and their carer can collect these medications while the patient is in surgery from a nearby pharmacy in Canberra Centre or Bunda Street, Canberra City.

admission, providing as much detail about your medical history as possible. It is important for us to know:

  • Any allergies to medications or food
  • Any adverse reactions with anaesthetic, pain relief, or antibiotics
  • History of any infectious diseases (e.g., Hepatitis, HIV, recent COVID-19)
Pre-Procedure Phone Calls

Canberra Surgicentre will call you 7 days before your procedure to confirm your admission time. If your surgery has been booked less than a week ahead, you will be contacted ASAP. Please contact us if you have not received a phone call.

You will also be advised on:

  • Fasting prior to surgery
  • Smoking/vaping
  • Alcohol
  • Clothing & footwear
  • Carer availability
  • Payment and health fund card for HICAPPS
  • Jewellery, makeup, & nail polish
  • Xrays

Please let us know if you have had COVID-19 in the past 8 weeks and the severity of the infection. We need to know if you have recovered well enough to proceed with surgery at this time. If you have had COVID-19 recently:

  • Did you require hospitalisation?
  • Have you been diagnosed with ‘long COVID’?
  • Have you had any ongoing medical issues since your last infection?

Please let us know if you have had a COVID-19 vaccination in the past 2 weeks. We advise that you should be vaccinated more than one week prior to surgery, or wait until 2 weeks after your surgery to reduce the risk of an adverse reaction.

Medical Conditions

Please let us know if:

  • You have been an inpatient of any hospital in the past 12 months.
  • You have traveled overseas in the past 12 months.
  • You are seeing a specialist medical practitioner, such as a cardiologist, for ongoing care.

Do you have any of the following conditions:

  • Have you had a myocardial infarction (heart attack) in the past 12 months?
  • Do you have sleep apnoea? If so, do you wear a CPAP machine?
  • Do you have diabetes? Are you taking medication or insulin for your diabetes?

Day Before Surgery


We advise you to purchase or prepare adequate amounts of soft food for the first 48 hours after surgery. You are limited to cold soft food for the first 24 hours (e.g., ice cream, yogurt, custard, smoothies, Weetbix with cold milk). After 24 hours you may have warm food (e.g., baked beans, porridge, scrambled eggs, pasta).

If you are travelling interstate (i.e. driving greater than 2 hours) after surgery we suggest that you bring some additional items to make your trip home as comfortable as possible.

  • Cold drinks – water, fruit juice (not orange as it will irritate the surgical site), cordial
  • Soft foods in an esky – yogurt, custard
  • Tissues, or a towel
Additional Reminders
  • Ensure you fast from the time directed from the Nurse at Canberra Surgicentre
  • Have suitable clothing prepared
  • Have your Xrays ready
  • Have your health fund card and payment organized for payment on the day.
  • Confirm that your carer is still available for transport and for 24 hours after surgery

Day of Surgery


It is important that you wear loose, comfortable clothing on the day of surgery. Please wear a t-shirt or short-sleeved shirt so we can easily access your arms for monitoring. Footwear must be enclosed – no thongs, slides, Crocs, or heels. Please do not wear a belt or have any other metal in your clothing. This is for your own safety.

Makeup & Nail Polish:

Do not wear make up and remove all fingernail polish, including artificial nails from the thumb and index finger of each hand.

Jewellery & Valuables:

Leave all jewellery and valuables at home. Canberra Surgicentre will not be responsible for any loss or theft of personal belongings. Remove all piercings if possible.

Glasses & Contact Lenses:

Wear glasses on the day of surgery and bring your own glasses case if possible. If you wear your contact lenses for sleep, you may wear them during surgery, unless the anaesthetist advises you otherwise.


Ensure that you have fasted for a minimum of 6 hours before surgery – that is nil by mouth. No food, fluids, lollies, chewing gum or ice. You may brush your teeth or rinse your mouth but DO NOT SWALLOW ANY WATER.


Free parking is available at the rear of the building – the driveway is on the left of the building. There is also metered parking on the street in front of Canberra Surgicentre.

If you are unwell on the day of surgery…

Please contact Canberra Surgicentre after 7:30am on the day of surgery if you are unwell or if your family or carer notice any change in your health condition.

On Arrival:

On your day of surgery, please present to Canberra Surgicentre at the time given to you during your preadmission confirmation phone call.


The receptionist will welcome you to Canberra Surgicentre and confirm your personal details with you (i.e. full name, date of birth, allergies and fasting time) and ask you to complete any outstanding documents.


Payment for hospital fees and Surgeon fees will be taken before you progress through to Preadmissions. The Anaesthetist will contact you independently for payment of anesthesia services. Your receipt for payment, sick certificate, and carers’ certificate will be available following surgery in your Discharge Pack.


During Preadmission you will have your baseline observations attended (blood pressure reading, pulse, oxygen saturation, temperature, height and weight) and documented for the Anaesthetist. The Nurse will confirm your identity and the surgery you are having. A preadmission checklist will be completed by the Nurse and you will be given a gown to place over your street clothes, a cap to cover your hair and protective booties to cover your shoes.

You will be seen by the Surgeon and Anaesthetist before surgery and given the opportunity to ask any further questions you may have. You will complete the consent form with the surgeon and be provided with your medication prescription (if you have not already received this).

Following this, you will have a final check with the Theatre Nurse, who will confirm your name, date of birth and allergies, and complete the checklist again to ensure all your documentation is in order before you are taken into the operating theatre. You will be escorted into the operating theatre by the theatre nurse and prepared for surgery.

Please note – questions regarding your personal details, surgery, and allergy and sensitivity status will be asked multiple times throughout your care. These questions are asked to ensure your safety during your stay and are a legal requirement for all day hospitals in Australia. Please bear with us during this time and answer all questions fully.

Post Operative Information

Discharge Pack

On your day of surgery you will be provided with a blue bag containing your:

  • Discharge Information Folder
  • Receipts for payment
  • Leave certificates for yourself and your carer (as applicable)
  • Additional sterile gauze packs in case of post-operative bleeding
  • A head wrap containing small ice packs (see Post-Operative Information for further explanation)
  • A vomit bag

It is important for you to rest for 24-48 hours following your surgery. You must not:

  • Drive a vehicle – you will not be covered by your insurance
  • Drink alcohol
  • Smoke or vape
  • Travel alone
  • Sign legal documents
  • Participate in strenuous activity or
  • Use hazardous machinery for 24 hours following your surgery.

You may feel tired and dizzy for a few days following surgery. This is due to the anaesthetic and pain relief you are taking. It is important to move around carefully and slowly, taking care when you are getting out of bed. Sit on the side of the bed for a few moments prior to getting up. Following those first few days of recovery, it important for you to resume your daily activities and walk around regularly.

Oral Hygiene

To promote healing, it is important to perform regular mouth rinses and teeth brushing 24 hours after surgery. This will help reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth after eating and flush out any particles of food in the mouth which can become caught and cause infection.

  • Mouth rinse with lukewarm salt water for 1-2 minutes, 6 times a day (preferably after eating), or use diluted commercial mouth antiseptic wash (half water, half mouthwash)
  • Brush teeth after 24 hours, but avoid brushing over the area of surgery to prevent bleeding and pain
Removable Oral Retainers

We recommend that you wear your oral retainer as normal following surgery. This will reduce the risk of your teeth moving and causing the retainer to no longer fit. Please start wearing your retainer as soon as you are comfortable to do so.

Food & Fluids

It is important for you to start eating and drinking soon after surgery to ensure you keep hydrated and to ensure your body receives the nutrients it needs to repair itself.

  • Day of surgery: Keep oral intake ‘SOFT, COOL, & SLOPPY’ – this includes ice-cream, yoghurt, custard, jelly, smoothies. Your mouth may still be numb from the local anaesthetic. It is important to avoid any hot food or drinks for the first 24 hours after surgery as it could burn the inside of your mouth and increase bleeding. Please also avoid using a straw for a week.
  • 24 – 48 hours following surgery: Soft, warm, and sloppy foods that do not require much chewing (e.g. soup, mashed vegetables, scrambled eggs).
  • 48 hours onwards: Progression towards normal diet at your own pace. Ensure you avoid foods that crumble such as peanuts, biscuits, potato chips, and seeds as they are likely to get stuck in the wound and cause an infection.

Antibiotics – If antibiotics are prescribed, take them as directed. It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics unless they are resulting in adverse side effects (see below). If you develop any side effect/s that you think may be related to taking the antibiotics, you should stop taking them and contact Canberra Surgicentre or your surgeon immediately.

Reactions may include:

  • Rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat
  • Asthma-like symptoms

Note: It has been reported that certain antibiotics may compromise the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.


Please refer to the ‘Post-Operative Pain Management Guide’ on this website.

Regular Medications

Please resume regular medications, like blood thinners/diabetic medications, as advised by the surgeon/your G.P.

Post-Operative Bleeding

Blood may continue to ooze from the surgical site during the first few days following surgery. This is normal. It may appear as blood-stained/streaked saliva.

To reduce bleeding/ooze, we advise you to:

  • Have a cold drink to constrict the blood vessels.
  • Roll the provided gauze pad into a ball and moisten it with water, and place it directly on the wound or tooth socket. Apply pressure for 20-30 minutes, biting firmly together on the gauze or using your finger.
  • Keep your head elevated for 24 hours to reduce bleeding – 2-3 pillows whilst sleeping.
  • Apply your ice packs to reduce facial swelling, bleeding, and bruising (see below).
Nausea & Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting may occur once/twice following surgery. This is usually caused by either:

  • Swallowing a small amount of blood after surgery.
  • The anaesthetic drugs.
  • The effect of the painkillers or antibiotics (especially on an empty stomach).

If you are nauseated, We recommend reducing the number of painkillers you are taking and start your antibiotics until the following day. If you do vomit, rinse your mouth very gently, and wait 30-60 minutes before having something to eat or drink. Try to establish your normal dietary regime as soon as possible.

  • Apply ice packs for 20 minutes and return to freezer in provided plastic bag to reduce contamination of food.
  • Reapply 20 minutes later and continue to alternate ice packs every 20 minutes, on and off, for the first 24 hours while awake.
  • May be used for as long as you like to relieve discomfort and swelling.

Your surgeon may have used sutures/stitches to close the wounds in your mouth. These are absorbable stitches which take around 3 weeks to dissolve. You will be able to feel them with your tongue. Try not to loosen the stitches as they are assisting in the repair of your oral tissue.

Other Issues

It is quite normal to experience numbness of the lip, chin, nose, or cheek areas following surgery, however, numbness may continue for days/weeks as a result of bruising to the nerve.


Swelling and bruising of the face, neck, and jaw are common following oral surgery. Ice packs can be used to reduce swelling; 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, for the first 8 hours. Swelling reaches its’ peak in 2 days and may take up to 10 days to subside.


You may get jaw stiffness for about 2 weeks following removal of wisdom teeth.


Stray bone fragments may appear in the upper and lower jaw near the extraction sites. If bone fragments do appear, they will generally fall out of their own accord.


We strongly advise that you do not smoke/vape for at least 7 days following the procedure as this greatly increases the risk of post-operative complications such as dry socket, bleeding, and infection.

Follow up Appointment

Approximately 2 weeks after surgery it is customary to see your surgeon for a post-operative check-up. Our staff will make an appointment for you, which will be documented in your discharge pack.

If you cannot keep your appointment, please phone us to cancel or reschedule.

For patients living interstate and unable to attend a follow up appointment, you may visit your regular dentist or GP to assess wound healing and discuss any further issues.

If you had a procedure where a specimen was taken (lesion/cyst/swab/bloods), you may receive an account from the pathology service which you will be required to pay.

Signs of Infection

If you are concerned that you may have an infection and have noticed any of the following signs/symptoms, please contact us for advice:

  • Red or inflamed wound, often producing heat in the area
  • Coloured discharge from the wound
  • A sudden increase in pain, that is not aided by simple analgesia
  • A sudden increase in swelling at one site (usually a few days or more after surgery)

Post-Operative Pain Management Guide

Pain from dental and oral surgery is different for each individual and may vary from slight discomfort to severe pain.

Following surgery, pain reaches its peak during the first 24-48 hours. Our priority is to provide you with an effective pain management regime which allows you to control your pain and recover from your surgery.

Pain management is addressed in the following ways:

  • Infiltrating the operative area with local anaesthetic during surgery
  • Use of oral anti-inflammatory medication – Ibuprofen, Nurofen or Advil
  • Use of oral analgesia – Panadeine Forte, Paracetamol or Tramadol
During the Procedure

Pain management begins in the operating room while you are anesthetized. The operative site is injected with a long-acting local anesthetic, which should keep your mouth numb and pain-free for up to 6 hours.

At Home

As the local anesthetic wears off, you may feel a tingling sensation or some discomfort. We recommend taking your first dose of prescribed analgesia (Panadeine Forte or Tramadol) at this time, followed by your first dose of anti-inflammatory medication 3 hours later. By alternating your prescribed medication and anti-inflammatory every three hours, your post-operative pain should be significantly reduced.

If you are unable to tolerate Panadeine Forte, please discuss this with your surgeon to ensure you are prescribed a suitable alternative strong analgesia.

Your discharge pack contains a Pain Management Plan leaflet with a suggested regime for analgesia and a section to record the time you take your medication at home, to prevent confusion, particularly during the first few days of your recovery.

Be aware:

  • The maximum dose of Panadeine Forte is 8 tablets over 24 hours.
  • The maximum dose for Ibuprofen is 6 tablets over 24 hours.
Side Effects

Panadeine Forte contains codeine, an opiate used for effective pain relief. All medications containing opiates can cause unpleasant side effects such as:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness and sedation

To reduce these side effects, you may halve the dose of Panadeine Forte and take a half dose of paracetamol together (one tablet of each). If vomiting persists or pain relief is inadequate, please contact your surgeon, local doctor, or present to your local hospital Emergency Department.


The Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Australian Dental Association
Australian Medical Association
Safe Health Care


Consultation appointments are available at our Braddon and Deakin rooms. All patients require an initial consultation with one of our surgeons following referral from their medical practitioner.

This is an important step in your treatment, to ensure that you receive the highest level of medical care from the Canberra Surgicentre by making sure you are fully informed of your treatment options, and our staff is aware of your medical history and any other relevant information.

On the day of your consultation you are required to bring your x-ray (this may also be an OPG, cone beam scan, PA or MRI) and your referral letter from your referring doctor. In some cases your referrer will have already sent us this information.

All new patients, or patients returning for treatment of a new condition, must complete a New Patient Form. This form requests personal and medical information which is kept strictly confidential. If you take regular medications you may like to bring in a medications list for completion of this form.

Once your paperwork is complete you will meet your surgeon to discuss and plan your treatment. You may require day surgery which can be booked in to take place at the Canberra Surgicentre, or sometimes treatment using local anaesthetic is all that is required. Depending on your medical history or the type of treatment, it is necessary for some patients to be booked for surgery at National Capital Private Hospital or Calvary Public Hospital. After your consultation with your surgeon you will meet with another of our administration staff and provided with a quote for your surgery. Surgery dates can also be discussed at this point and booked if appropriate.

Your quote for surgery will have item numbers for your procedure, allowing you to calculate your out of pocket expenses. Many of our procedures are not covered by Medicare. If you have private health insurance please contact your provider prior to your surgery, to find out how much of your treatment they will cover. All fees for your surgery are payable by the day of your procedure.

Please remember to bring your referral, x-rays (if required), Medicare card and Private Health fund card (if you have private health insurance) along to your appointment. Failure to do so may mean your consultation has to be rescheduled.

Payment of Accounts

Please be aware that all accounts must be settled at the time of your appointment. If you have “Dental Extras” as a part of your Private Health Insurance, bring your Private Health Insurance card with you when you come in for your consultation as we have Hicaps claiming facilities available.

If we are able to bulk bill your account we do require your Medicare card on the day of your consultation.

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