Oral Surgery - Tooth Extraction
After an extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form, to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That is why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 or 45 minutes after the extraction. If bleeding or oozing continues after you remove the gauze pad, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another thirty minutes. You may have to do this several times. It is extremely important that you make sure that you are placing the gauze DIRECTLY over the extraction site, and that you bite as TIGHTLY as possible, for adequate pressure to stop the bleeding. If you continue to bleed, wet a tea bag and follow the same instructions above, making sure to place the tea bag directly over the extraction site. After the blood clot forms it is important to protect it, especially for the next 48 hours.
- Suck through a straw
- Rinse your mouth vigorously
- Drink hot beverages or soup
These activities can dislodge the clot and slow down healing. Limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and have some swelling. You can use an ice pack to keep this to a minimum. You should place an ice pack or a frozen bag of peas or corn on your face in the area where the surgery was performed for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. The swelling should start to go down within 48 hours.
Use pain medication only as directed. It can help to take your prescription, alternating every 3 hours with anti-inflammatory medication (600 – 800 mg of Ibuprofen). Do not take anti-inflammatory medication if you are allergic to it.
For example: Take anti-inflammatory medication at 6 am. Then take your prescription at 9 am, then take your anti-inflammatory at 12 pm, then take the prescription at 3 pm, and so on. The important thing to remember is that you must let 6 hours pass between doses of anti-inflammatory medication. And you must not take your prescription doses any sooner than directed on the label. If you were prescribed a medication containing Ibuprofen (ex. Vicoprofen) do not consume any additional anti-inflammatory medication. As you begin to feel better, you can stretch the times out, eventually discontinuing all medication. If you have any questions about this, please call our office.
If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
Drink lots of fluid and eat only soft nutritious foods on the day of the extraction. Do not consume alcoholic beverages and avoid hot and spicy foods. You can begin eating normally the next day or as soon as it is comfortable for you.
Gently rinse your mouth with saltwater three times a day beginning the day after the extraction. You can continue to do saltwater rinses as often as needed.
Dissolve one teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gently rinse, swish, and then open your mouth over the sink to let the salt water fall out of your mouth - DO NOT SPIT.
Also, rinse gently after meals. This helps keep food out of the extraction site. It is very important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing at least once a day. This speeds up the healing process. If it is painful to brush teeth near the extraction site, you can use a Q-tip to clean those teeth, for a few days. It is very important to keep your mouth clean while healing from an extraction.
Call our office right away if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after two or three days, or a reaction to the medication. After a few days to a week you should be able to resume your normal activities. After hours, if you have an emergency, you may page the doctors. You will need to call the office to get the current paging number off of the answering machine. If for some reason you cannot reach us and you have an emergency, please call 911, or go to the emergency room.