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Post Operative Extraction Instructions

Following a dental extraction procedure, some patients might have some concerns as to what is to be expected following their appointment. These instructions will help you feel more comfortable and aid in the goal of creating a healthy oral environment.

What Can I Expect?

It is normal for an area to bleed following a dental extraction. Sometimes small amounts of blood will mix with accumulating amounts of saliva and make it seem like the bleeding is excessive. This will usually occur 1-2 days following the procedure. If you notice this condition gently rinse your mouth with water, place moistened gauze over the extraction site and bite down. Check the gauze after 20 minutes and repeat if necessary up to 3-4 times. If bleeding continues, substitute the gauze with a moistened warm teabag.

Swelling and stiffness is not uncommon and can increase up to 72 hours following the procedure. If this occurs, apply a cold compress for 15 minute intervals for the first 24 hours to the affected area. After 24 hours, apply a warm compress. Pain and discomfort are normal as well. Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or any prescribed medications the dentist gave you are recommended. Do not mix medications without checking with the dentist first, and do not take Aspirin. Also, be aware of the numbing sensation after you leave the office. The anesthesia may take several hours to wear off following the procedure and during this time a patient can very easily injure their lips, cheek or tongue. Any injury occurred as a result of this should be inspected by the dentist.  

What Can I Do?

Patients should stay on a soft diet for the first 24 hours following a dental extraction. Transition to a harder diet should be based on the patient’s comfort level. Smoking, drinking through a straw and forceful spitting should be avoided as well. Get plenty of rest, elevate your head while sleeping, and avoid strenuous activity for the rest of the day. Alcohol consumption, Aspirin, and Vitamin E supplements should be avoided.

After 24 hours, the patient should start brushing the area with a soft tooth brush to remove any retained food particles from the area. Minor bleeding may occur as a result of this. Gentle rinsing with warm salt water is encouraged 3 times a day for a 1 week period. Any medicines prescribed by the dentist should be taken as directed.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, so if any questions or concerns arise please call the office and speak to the dentist.