Instructions Following Dental Extractions

Moderate discomfort and swelling occur with most oral surgery procedures.  The symptoms begin within the first 12 hours following the surgery, and start to decrease after 48 hours.  The amount of discomfort and swelling is unpredictable.  It is important to take care of your surgery site, so please follow these instructions.

  1. Bite on gauze for 30 minutes to stop any bleeding.  If bleeding continues, place another gauze and continue to apply pressure.  Replace gauze as necessary until bleeding stops.
  2. For at least 24 hours do not: (Any of these things may cause the blood clot over the surgery site to dislodge from the “socket,” causing a “dry socket” and resulting in unnecessary pain.)
    1. Smoke
    2. Drink through a straw
    3. Drink alcohol, carbonated beverages or hot liquids
    4. Blow your nose
    5. Spit excessively
  3. Restrict your activities the day of your surgery. Avoid excessive work or play, and resume normal activity the following day as tolerated.
  4. Maintain a soft diet for the remainder of the day: warm soup, ice cream, milk shakes, yogurt, smoothies (remember, no straws)
  5. If you were given medications, please take them as directed.  If you have pain medications at home, you may take them according to the instructions.
  6. Tomorrow morning, start rinsing gently with warm salt water 3 times daily      (1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water)
  7. To minimize swelling: Apply a cold compress to the face near the extraction site for up to 20 minutes on, and at least 20 minutes off as needed.  After 36 hours, application of moist heat to the sides of the face can help reduce swelling.
  8. Sutures may have been placed. Most will dissolve on their own in 7-10 days. If you have sutures that need a follow-up visit for removal, we will let you know at the time they are placed.
  9. If you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding or swelling, or if you have any questions or concerns, please call our office.  If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.