After An Extraction

Instructions after tooth Extraction or minor oral surgery

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. Swishing, sucking through a straw, and smoking can all dislodge the clot. Keep anything sharp from entering the wound (crunchy food, toothpicks, eating utensils). Be sure 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. Don't change it during this time; it needs to remain undisturbed while a clot forms in the extraction socket. After 30 minutes you may remove it. You may bite on another gauze for another 30 minutes if you feel it is still bleeding.

SMOKING: Smoking should be stopped following surgery at least 3- 5 days. Also, the suction created when inhaling cigarettes can dislodge the clot. Smokers are at higher risk of developing a painful Dry Socket.

PAIN: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. To minimize pain, if needed, take over the counter pain killer like Tylenol or Advil (if no allergy present), take the medication only as described on the bottle, only as needed. NAUSEA: This is most often caused by taking pain medications on an empty stomach. Reduce nausea by preceding each pain pill with soft food, and taking the pill with a large glass of water.

SWELLING: Applying an ice pack to the face over the operated area will minimize swelling. Apply for 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes. Continue this for the first day.

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 causes residual numbness or tingling for six weeks or longer.

BRUSHING: Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After this, you may brush your teeth gently, but give special attention to the surgical site.

RINSING: Avoid rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after the extraction. Rinsing can disturb the formation of a healing blood clot, which is essential for proper healing. This can cause bleeding and risk of dry socket. After 24 hours you may begin gentle rinsing with a gentle mouthwash or water and salt (1/4 tsp salt to 8oz water).

DIET: Eat soft foods for the first two days. Return to normal regular meals as soon as you are able after the first two days. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

ANTIBIOTICS: If you were given an antibiotic prescription, take all of them as directed until they are gone. Women: some antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Use alternate birth control methods for two months.

EXERCISE: no vigorous physical activity for the rest of the day, preferably the next day, as well.

FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENTS: You may need to return to the office to have sutures removed, or just for a brief follow-up. Please call your dentist if you have:
· sever pain, fevers, a reaction to medications, bleeding, excessive swelling or when in doubt.