Post-Operative Care

INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWING AN EXTRACTION

  • DO NOT DISTURB THE WOUND: In doing so you may invite irritation, infection and/or bleeding. Be sure to chew on the opposite side for 24 hours and keep anything sharp from entering the wound (i.e. eating utensils, potato chips etc.).
  • DO NOT SMOKE FOR 24 HOURS: Smoking will promote bleeding, interfere with healing, and could possibly lead to a dry socket.
  • BRUSHING: Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery.
  • MOUTH WASH: Avoid any rinsing for 24 hours after extraction. This is to insure the formation of a healing blood clot which is essential to proper wound healing. Disturbance of this clot can lead to increased bleeding or the loss of the blood clot. If the clot is lost, a painful condition called dry socket may occur. You may use warm salt water after 24 hours. Continue with salt water rinse for 3-5 days.
  • DO NOT SPIT OR SUCK THROUGH A STRAW: This will promote bleeding and may dislodge the blood clot causing a dry socket.
  • BLEEDING: A gauze pad will be placed on the extraction site and you will be asked to change this dressing every 20 minutes or so depending on the amount of bleeding. It is normal for some blood to ooze from the area of surgery. We will also give you a package of gauze to take with you to use at home if the bleeding should continue. Should you need to use the gauze at home, remember to fold it into a piece large enough to cover the wound. Hold firmly in place, by biting, for about 20-30 minutes. If bleeding still continues, you may fold a tea bag in half and bite down on it. Tea contains tannic acid, a styptic, which may help to reduce the bleeding.
  • PAIN: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. Analgesic tablets (i.e. Advil, Tylenol etc.) may be taken under your dentist's direction. Prescription medication, which may have been given to you, should also be taken as directed. If pain continues, call your dentist.
  • SWELLING: To prevent swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the area of the extraction during the first 12 hours. Apply alternately, 20 minutes on then 20 minutes off, for an hour or longer if necessary.
  • DIET: Eat normal regular meals as soon as you are able after surgery. Cold, soft food such as ice cream or yogurt may be the most comfortable for the first day. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids.
REPORT ANY UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES IMMEDIATELY!