Post-Extraction Instructions

BLEEDING: Please bite with moderate pressure on the gauze pad placed in your mouth for 30 minutes. Some oozing may occur for about 24 hours without need for alarm. Should this oozing become profuse, it can be controlled by moistening two or three gauze squares, placing them over the area and biting with moderate pressure for 30 minutes. Avoid spitting and excessive physical activity as this tends to increase and prolong bleeding. Do not lay flat, keep your head elevated above your heart.

PAIN: To prevent post-extraction discomfort, begin taking the pain medication prescribed for you within one hour. Be sure to follow the directions on the label for amount and how often to take the medication. If no prescription was given, Ibuprofen is an effective medication as well as Aspirin or Tylenol.

ORAL HYGIENE: Please do not rinse the extraction site for 24 hours. Afterwards, rinse the area with warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) three times daily. Continue to do this for a week. Do continue to brush and floss your teeth being careful around the extraction site. Do not smoke for 48 hours.

DIET: Avoid eating over the extraction site for three or four days. Try to maintain as normal a diet as you can. Follow your own common sense about hard foods. You might find soft food more comfortable the first 24 hours. Chew on the opposite side and drink plenty of fluids, but avoid drinking through a straw. Also avoid any carbonated beverages and alcohol for 24 hours.

SWELLING AND DISCOLORATION: It is normal to have some swelling and possibly some discoloration after a complicated extraction. The swelling will last about three days and the discoloration may last several weeks. To minimize this problem, apply an ice pack for fifteen minutes. Keep alternating for eight hours. The second day, warm moist heat is beneficial.

SUTURES: Some methods of tooth removal require that sutures (stitches) be used. Your dentist will let you know if they have been used. Some types require removal 5 to 10 days later. An appointment will be given to you if your sutures require removal.

SMOKING: Smoking is to be avoided for the first 48 hours.

If for any reason you become alarmed or unduly concerned about the condition of your mouth, please call the Dental Clinic. Also, if you feel that you are experiencing an adverse reaction to any of the medications, call the Dental Clinic right away. During working hours the number is 387-1702.  After hours, calling 502-4244 will reach the paging service to have the dentist on call contact you.