Extraction Post-Operative Instructions
After an extraction it is important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and being the healing process. Please bite on the gauze given to you for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. After this time, should you experience continued bleeding, continue biting on gauze until the bleeding stops. A small amount of “oozing” is normal and may continue for a few days, especially if several teeth were extracted simultaneously or the extraction required surgical removal. It is important you do not disturb or dislodge the blood clot as it aids in healing. If a clot fails to form you may experience a painful infection called a dry socket. To reduce your chances of infection, follow the below precautions:
- Do not suck on straws, spit forcefully, swish fluids or rinse vigorously, slurp soups or poke at the wound site
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for 72 hours. Either significantly increases the chance of infection
- Avoid brushing directly on the area for 48 hours. Continue good hygiene elsewhere in the mouth. After time you may cautiously brush the area. The wound will not be completely healed so be gentle.
- Limit vigorous exercise or work and other activities which increase blood pressure as they may increase bleeding
- Eat nutritious, soft foods the day of the extraction. As you feel comfortable you can eat normally. Avoid eating seeds, nuts, chips, popcorn or other foods which may become trapped in the open wound and cannot be digested by the body.
To minimize swelling place an ice pack or unopened bag of frozen peas or corn on the area for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off for a couple hours. After 24 hours do not continue with cold applications. Moist heat can be applied to the outside of the face to relieve discomfort. The swelling normally subsides within 72 hours.
After two days, you may lightly swish warm saltwater (1/2 teaspoon salt) to remove any bad taste you have. Avoid chlorohexidine rinses for one week. If instructed, irrigate the extraction site with warm saltwater.
If sutures were placed, it is important you return as scheduled to have the sutures removed, unless otherwise told by the doctor. If no follow up appointment was made, the sutures will dissolve and no return visit is required. We will tell you which type of sutures were used, but if you have any questions please feel free to contact us. It will take 4-6 weeks for the “hole” to fill in completely.
It is normal for the extraction site to be uncomfortable for 3-4 days. If the pain is severe, worsens or lingers more than four days please contact our office. For pain relief we recommend:
-600 mg Ibuprofen OR 1000 mg Acetominophen (Tylenol) every six hours until pain subsides.
If the pain is not alleviated you may try combining the Ibuprofen and Tylenol in the following manner:
-600 mg ibuprofen and 500 mg Acetominophen (Tylenol) every six hours
If you are allergic to any of these medications, or are under a physicians orders not to take them, please do not take them and contact our office immediately for other options.
If you have any questions or problems please contact our office and we will make every effort to ensure your comfort.