Post Op Directions After Extractions

After a tooth has been extracted, it is very important for a good blood clot to form.  This is important as it assists in the healing process by acting as a bandage over the exposed bone.  A wad of cotton is also placed over the socket for you to bite down on, as that helps the bleeding stop.  There could be a slight blood seepage for a few hours up to one day.  If heavy bleeding does persist bite hard on the cotton for at least one hour or try biting on a wet tea bag.  If after that time there is still heavy or persistent bleeding, you will want to contact your doctor.

There are several precautions you will need to follow after an extraction to prevent infection of the extraction site or to prevent the blood clot (which is needed in the healing process) from being dislodged.  Among these are:

  • Do not smoke for a few days as that may hinder the healing process.
  • Do not drink alcohol for at least two days.
  • Do not spit out for at least one day.
  • Do not sip through a straw for at least one to two days.
  • If you are not actively bleeding, do not bite on gauze.
  • Restrict your diet to soft foods for at least a few days.
  • You should also not rinse your mouth on the day of the extraction, but the day after will be fine for gentle rinsing. After the first day or so it is important to keep the area clean.

If you have any facial swelling after the extraction, you can apply a wrapped ice pack to the swollen area of the face repeatedly for 20 minute interals for the first day.  If however a swelling occurs or there is an increase in pain after a few days, this may be a sign of infection and you should be seen by the dentist.

If antibiotics have been prescribed you should take them as directed.

Nothing can make an extraction a pleasant experience, but with modern methods, pain medication and if you follow your Dentist’s advice, pain and recovery time can be minimal.

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