Post Operative Extraction Instructions 

After dental extractions and third molar (wisdom tooth) removal some amount of bleeding, discomfort/pain, and swelling is normal.

The following instructions are provided to make your post-operative recovery as short and pleasant as possible.

The Day of Surgery

During this time, the most important care is not to disturb the surgical area.

  • Bite down with firm pressure on the gauze pack for at least 30 minutes after leaving this office. At that time, remove pack and replace with another gauze sponge as provided. Repeat as necessary. You may start taking pain pills after you have some food in your stomach. If an antibiotic is prescribed, start taking it according to directions.
  • Do not rinse or spit for 72 hours. This tends to disturb the blood clot and thus prolong bleeding. It is better to just swallow normally during this time.
  • Do not chew until the numbness has worn off. Diet should then be limited to cool, soft foods and non-carbonated liquids for at least 48 hours. A high calorie, high protein nutritional supplement such as Ensure or Boost may be helpful and is available at your pharmacy. It’s essential that you eat and drink as much as your comfort will allow. Do not take pain medicines on an empty stomach.
  • Apply ice packs immediately to all areas where surgery was performed. Place ice packs on for 30, then off for 30 minutes. Continue at least 24-48 hours.
  • Avoid all excessive activity. In addition, do not drink with a straw and avoid alcoholic or carbonated beverages and smoking until healing is well established (3-5 days). Do not drive a car or operate machinery for 24 hours after sedation or general anesthesia or while taking narcotic pain medication.

To control bleeding

Some bleeding following surgery is a normal event. If excessive bleeding is still occurring 4-5 hours after surgery, place 2 sterile gauze packs firmly and directly over the area of surgery and bite down with firm, even pressure for 30 minutes. Do not chew the gauze! Do not speak! Repeat if necessary.

If this is not successful, try biting firmly on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. If excessive bleeding continues, call (859) 647-0006.

After Your Surgery

During this time the most important care is to keep your mouth clean.

Oral hygiene is important

72 hours after surgery, you may begin gently rinsing your mouth with a lukewarm salt-water solution (one-half teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water). Repeat this 4 or 5 times a day for one week to gently cleanse the area of surgery.

Brush teeth carefully and thoroughly, except for the immediate surgical area, with a soft toothbrush. Keeping your mouth clean helps avoid postoperative infection and speeds healing.

Often operations are performed very close to nerves. This can sometimes cause some lingering numbness or altered sensations, especially of the lower lip or tongue. This condition is usually temporary and will generally disappear when swelling recedes and the nerve heals. If this persists for two weeks, please contact the office.

Special considerations following removal of impacted teeth

Removal of impacted teeth is a surgical procedure. Postoperative problems are not unusual, and extra care must be taken to avoid complications

The Day Following Surgery and Thereafter

DO NOT WORRY ABOUT STITCHES. Stitches (also known as sutures) are usually placed to control bleeding, aid healing and help prevent food from collecting in the surgical site – – especially for lower teeth. The sutures we use dissolve in 3 to 5 days and DO NOT HAVE TO BE REMOVED.

ANY SWELLING, SORENESS, OR STIFFNESS IN THE JAW MUSCLES can be relieved by applying ICE to the affected side of the face several times a day. Moist heat should not be used until after the first 48 hours. If swelling, tenderness, or pain should increase after the first few days, call the office.

MOST TIMES A SOFT DIET MAY BE NECESSARY for the first few days after surgery. Most patients are able to resume regular food intake within a short time.

BRUISING MARKS MAY APPEAR ON THE SKIN OF THE FACE during the first few days after surgery. Moist heat application will help relieve this condition once again. An antibiotic or moisturizing cream may be used on the lips to promote healing. .

We make every attempt to answer our emergency pager as promptly as possible. Occasionally, your messages do not reach our pagers. If you do not hear from the nurse or doctor on call within one-half hour, please call back and ask them to page again. Do this until the nurse or doctor on call has answered your page.


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