Tooth Extraction

DO NOT DISTURB THE AREA - For the next few days, and especially the first 24 hours, it is very important to allow your body to form a good clot and start the natural healing process.  Avoid swishing, sucking through a straw, and smoking all of which can dislodge the clot.  Avoid anything sharp from entering the wound such as crunchy food, toothpicks, and eating utensils.  Try to chew on the opposite side for 24 hours.

Bleeding - When you leave the office, you might be biting on a gauze pad to control bleeding.  Keep slight pressure on this gauze for at least 30 minutes.  Do not change the gauze during this time; it needs to remain undisturbed while a clot forms in the extraction socket.  After 30 minutes you may remove the gauze.  You may bite on another gauze or a tea bag for another 30 minutes if bleeding continues.  Small amounts of blood in the saliva can make your saliva appear quite red in color.  This is normal and may be noticed the rest of the day after the procedure.

Smoking - No smoking is recomended following surgery.  Healing and success of the surgery will be substantially reduced by cigarette smoke chemicals in your body.  Also the suction created when inhaling cigarettes can dislodge the clot.  Smoking increases the risk of developing a painful condition called dry socket.

Pain - Some discomfort is normal after surgery.  To minimize pain, take Tylenol
®, Advil®, or ibuprofen as directed on the label.  Take pain medication before the anesthesia wears off.  If prescription pain medication is prescribed, take it as instructed on the label  Do not exceed the dose on the label.  Taking pain medication with food or milk will help reduce upset stomach.  Do not drink alcohol and avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when taking prescription pain medications.  

Swelling - Apply an ice bag to the face over the affected area to minimize swelling for 15 mintues at a time. Continue this for the 1st day after surgery. 

Brushing - Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery.  After this, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery for 3 days.

Rinsing - Avoid all rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after extraction.  Rinsing can disturb the formation of a blood clot which is essential to proper healing.  This could cause bleeding and increase the risk of dry socket. After 24 hours you may begin gentle rinsing with a saltwater solution (1 teaspoon salt + 8 ounces warm water).  Avoid commercial mouthrinses.

Physical Activity - After leaving the office, rest and avoid strenuous activities such as aerobic exercise and weightlifting for the remainder of the day.  Avoiding high or elevated blood pressure lower will reduce the risk of bleeding.

Diet - Eat soft foods for the first 2 days.  Maintain a good, balanced diet.  Return to a regular diet as soon as you are able after the first 2 days.  Drink plenty of water.  Avoid alcohol for 2 days.

Antibiotics - If you were given a prescription for antibiotics, fill the prescription as soon as possible and take the medication as directed on the label.  Do not stop taking the antibiotics until the dispensed quantity is finished.  Contact the office if you are experiencing any issues that prevent you from taking the antibiotics.  Specifically for women, some antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills therefore use alternate birth control methods for 2 months.

Nausea - Reduce nausea by taking pain medication with food, milk or water.  

Numbness - The local anesthetic will cause you to be numb for several hours after you leave the office.  Be very careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the numb area.  Sometimes the extraction procedure causes residual numbness or tingling for 6 weeks or longer.

You may need to return to the office to have sutures removed or for a healing checkup. 

Call the office at (302) 421-9960 immediately if you experience any of the following :

Uncontrollable Pain
Excessive or Severe Bleeding
High Fever
Excessive Swelling accompanied by a warm sensation a few days after the procedure
Adverse Reactions to medications such as rash, itching, or breathing problems