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Post Operative Care: Extractions

1. Bleeding

Following routine extractions, some bleeding is to be expected. The dentist will place thick gauze at the extraction site; please keep biting on it for twenty to twenty-five minutes. After the twenty-five minutes, remove the gauze and throw it away. If there is very little bleeding after the gauze is removed from the extraction site, do not worry as it will clot naturally and will eventually stop bleeding. If there is excessive bleeding upon removal of the gauze after twenty-five minutes, put a thick gauze packet again as instructed by your dentist for another twenty-five minutes. If excessive bleeding still continues after the first hour, put the gauze packet again and call the office for an immediate follow up.

2. Swelling

Minor swelling around the extraction site is normal. This should subside in three to five days. To help relieve the swelling, please put ice packs on and off for thirty minutes at a time. Please keep your head elevated as much as possible for the first few days after the extraction. This will also help reduce the swelling. However, if the swelling gets worse or does not get better after one week, please call the office.

3. Pain

You will be numb after the extraction for two to three hours and will not notice the pain. As the anesthetic starts to wear off, you will start to feel pain. Please take pain medications or any other medications as prescribed by your dentist. Please refrain from pain medications containing aspirin, as aspirin increases the bleeding. The pain usually lasts the first two to four days.

4. Dry socket

If you feel the pain following the extraction got worse after three to four days, you may have a dry socket. A dry socket is an infection that develops due to the complications during extraction; examples: removal of broken or curved roots or difficult locations or angulations of extracted teeth. Please call the office if you feel you’re developing a dry socket. We will place a dry socket dressing, which will help with the discomfort.

5. Bone and bone fragments

During extractions, there is a lot of instrumentation done around the bone and the gums to remove the roots, so minor bony fragments or sharp edges may remain under the gums. This will naturally heal in about two to four weeks. If this is bothersome, please call the office.

6. Hygiene and other habits

It’s extremely important that you do not smoke or take alcohol for the first five to seven days following extraction. This is because smoking and alcohol containing products can aggravate the healing process and cause unnecessary swelling, redness, pain, and even dry socket. Continue brushing your teeth as always, but please be gentle around the extraction site. Please refrain from alcohol containing mouth washes to rinse your mouth for the first few weeks. You may rinse your mouth with warm salt water forty-eight hours after extraction. Do not drink with a straw or do heavy exercise for the first fort-eight hours, as this may increase the bleeding.

7. Diet

Please eat a soft diet following extraction and do not eat any nuts or hard foods, spicy foods, hot foods or drinks, or popcorn kernels, ect. for the first week. you may slowly resume normal diet after seven to ten days.

8. Sutures

If sutures have been placed, please check with your dentist about the appointment for removing the sutures. If absorbable sutures have been placed, you will not need a follow up appointment.

9. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call the office.

Please inform your dentist about your general health. If you are taking any prescriptions or over the counter medications that may impair the healing process, we will let you know. If you have any other medically compromised health factors ex. Diabetes, cancers, heart problems, ect. please let us know as this will affect the normal healing following extraction.