Post Op Surgical Instructions

After teeth have been extracted, how quickly you heal depends on the difficulty of the extraction (a fully erupted tooth versus an impacted tooth).

What to generally expect:

The First 24 Hours

Bleeding: This may occur for several hours after your teeth are removed. Place a piece of clean, moist gauze or moist tea bag over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly for approximately 45 minutes. The tannic acid in tea helps blood dots to form (similar to a scab on an open wound). You should avoid rinsing, spitting or sucking actions after your teeth are removed. Do not smoke or drink beverages through straws. Avoid hot liquids such as soup or tea. These activities can cause the dot to dislodge and cause a dry socket.

Facial Swelling: This can occur where the tooth was extracted. Apply a cold compress to ease the swelling and pain. In a wrapped cloth, place the compress or ice on the area of your face that is swollen for 10-minutes, followed by 20-minutes off. Repeat as necessary during the first 24 hours.

Pain Medications: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) can be taken to manage your pain. We may prescribe more potent pain relievers, such as narcotics, if necessary.

Antibiotics: May be prescribed prior to removing your teeth to treat any infection around the tooth. The antibiotic should be taken until you have finished the full prescription.

Food: Avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages. When the extraction is more difficult, you will need to consume a soft or liquid diet after tooth has been removed. Following procedure, we recommend drinking a minimum of six glasses of liquid during the first 24 hours to replenish blood loss.

Brushing Teeth: Continue to brush your teeth while avoiding the teeth adjacent to the extracted tooth for the first full day. On day two, resume the gentle brushing of your teeth. Do not use commercial mouth rinses prior to healing, as these can irritate the area of extraction.

After 24 Hours

Rinse Your Mouth with Warm Salt Water: Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water before bed and after meals. Do not use commercial mouth rinses.

Complete Healing: This will not occur for a few weeks to a few months. Usually within the first week or two you will feel reasonably comfortable.