Things to expect after treatment:

  • The initial healing period usually takes one to two weeks, and you’ll likely experience some swelling for the first forty eight hours.
  • Before the procedure began, you were given an anesthetic to ensure your comfort. This anesthetic typically leaves your lips, teeth and tongue feeling numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid chewing for two hours following surgery, or until the numbness has completely worn off.
  • Discomfort after the extraction is normal. An over-the-counter pain reliever may be sufficient. We can also give you a prescription for a stronger pain reliever if needed.
  • To avoid nausea, do no take pain medication on an empty stomach.
  • You can also decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack (twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off) for the first six hours following the extraction. A frozen bag of peas work great as well!
  • A blood clot will form on the extraction site, and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink liquids through a straw, and do not spit vigorously.
  • Blowing your nose or sneezing violently can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing, so if you have an upper respiratory infection or suffer from allergies, be sure to have the appropriate sinus medication on hand.
  • Do not drink alcohol for 48 hours after extraction. Smoking or allowing food particles to pack into the tooth’s socket should be avoided, as both will significantly affect the healing process.
  • Do not rinse your mouth for 12 hours after surgery. 24 hours following the procedure, you can rinse gently with mouthwash or a warm salt water solution. (Dissolve one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water. Gently swish the solution around the affected area, and spit carefully.) You should do this two to three times each day for the week following the extraction.

Additional After-treatment Care:

  • Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. Relax as much as possible. We will give you a supply of gauze sponges to place over the bleeding area.
  • If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
  • Once the numbness has worn off, you should eat. Nourishment is an important part of the healing process. Limit your diet to soft foods like yogurt, soft soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first forty-eight hours, and drink at least eight large glasses of water or fruit juice each day.
  • Change the gauze as necessary and use them until the bleeding stop completely. You can bite carefully, but firmly on a moist tea bag for twenty minutes. Use tea bags if bleeding persists…YES, tea bags! They have a natural coagulant.

Notify our office if any of the following occurs:

  • Heavy bleeding develops. This may be suspected if the gauze sponges are still being heavily saturated with blood after two hours. Oozing is normal, heavy bleeding is not.
  • Any bleeding from the socket occurs after 18 hours.
  • Severe nagging or “gnawing” pain is present at the extraction site after 24 hours.
  • Elevation of temperature over 101 F develops.
  • Dry socket may occur after any dental extraction. It usually comes on 48 hours after surgery, even if the area felt normal before. We may be able to place a soothing medicine to relieve symptoms, however relief is seldom found. It could last for 10-14 days.