Instructions Following Dental Extractions

Please follow specific instructions given to you by the oral surgeon. Below are general guidelines.

  1. Immediately following surgery, keep the gauze pad placed over the surgical area with pressure applied by biting down until the bleeding stops. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following a surgical procedure. Placing the gauze pad over the area and biting firmly may control excessive bleeding. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Repeat as necessary within an one-hour period following surgery.
  2. If you have been prescribed strong pain medication other than aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), do not drive, operate heavy equipment, work around machinery or tools or engage in any other activity that may be unsafe when groggy, as your reflexes and judgment will be affected by the medication. Medication should not be taken on an empty stomach. If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the medicine as directed. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection.
  3. Swelling around the face, eyes and surgical site is not uncommon. This swelling may not appear until the day after the surgery and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. You can help to minimize the swelling by applying a cold compress on the face near the extraction site alternating on for 20 minutes and then off for 20 minutes. After 36 hours the ice will no longer have an impact on the swelling. After this period, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face can help reduce the swelling.
  4. For 24 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, brush, rinse, spit, or smoke. Avoid hot and spicy foods, carbonated and alcoholic beverages. During the first few days after surgery, restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies. Restrict your activities on the day of your surgery, avoid excessive work or play and resume normal activity the following day as tolerated.
  5. After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with a warm salt water rinse, approximately one-half teaspoon of salt in an eight ounce glass of water.  Rinse your mouth three times a day. Do not spit but let the water fall out of your mouth. Do not brush the extraction site but you can brush the rest of your mouth.
  6. Unless otherwise instructed, if any sutures were required, they will dissolve on their own in 7-10 days. It will not be necessary to return to the office for sutures to be removed.
  7. Children should be supervised after having an extraction to make sure they do not bite their tongue or lips as it can cause serious injury to their soft tissue.
  8. Please contact the surgeon’s office or our office if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding or swelling, or if you have any questions or concerns. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.