It is widely reported that patients routinely remember less than half of the information given to them by their doctor or dentist. This recall is probably even worse when the pt has just been through a traumatic procedure such as having an extraction.
This is why I always give both verbal and written post operative instructions following oral surgery. That way when a pt gets home and can't remember what you said they can look back at the written postops and get all the information they need to carry out effective home care.
I find this really seems to minimise the number of times I am asked to call a patient following oral surgery and I believe it has reduced my complication rates such as dry sockets. I have also taken this one stage further by including a few sachets of salt with my post ops to give the pt no reason to avoid the salt water rinses that I recommend for the days following an extraction. I buy these from a cash and carry at a cost of £5 and a box of sachets will last me about 2 years!
If you want to use my post op instructions as a template please feel free but obviously you may want to tailor them to how you would normally give your advice. This can be downloaded from my googledrive via the link here: http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/useful-resources.html
I am considering constructing post ops for other procedures. As I do so I will add them to my googledrive as well, or if you already do this feel free to share them here.
Dr Chris Harper