After an Extraction
What to expect immediately following your procedure:
- Once you arrive home, you will want to replace your gauze. You will continue to replace the gauze every 15-30 minutes over the course of 2 hours. DO NOT KEEP THE GAUZE IN FOR MORE THAN 2 HOURS. If you still have excessive bleeding after 2 hours, please call our office at 978.682.5255.
- Once you are settled at home, we recommend to begin taking medication, whether it be a prescription or over the counter. (please refer to the back side of this booklet to see what you were prescribed) Getting an early start on your medication will help prevent pain once your local anesthetic wears off. Wait 30-60 minutes between taking different medications.
- Once your gauze has been removed, we recommend starting to drink fluids, progress to thick liquids and gradually move on to eating soft foods. (Please refer to our diet recommendations)
- We recommend getting plenty of rest today and over the next few days to help your body recuperate and heal.
What NOT to do following your procedure:
- ABSOLUTELY NO RINSING OR SPITTING TODAY!
- DO NOT DRINK OUT OF A STRAW FOR 24-48 HOURS!
- DO NOT TOUCH THE EXTRACTION SITE WITH YOUR FINGERS OR TONGUE.
- DO NOT SMOKE 24-48 HOURS FOLLOWING PROCEDURE!
- IF IV ANESTHESIA WAS USED - DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINARY FOR 24 HOURS.
- IF IV ANESTHESIA WAS USED - DO NOT MAKE IMPORTANT PERSONAL OR BUSINESS DECISIONS TODAY.
A gauze pack is placed over the area where the tooth was extracted in order to limit bleeding. By placing pressure on the site(s), the gauze protects the area while a blood clot is forming. Expect a red tinge in your saliva for a day. After 2 hours, please remove the gauze. If any active bleeding persists or later develops, please call our office at 978.682.5255. What is active bleeding? Active bleeding is when blood pools excessively around the extraction site OR the gauze is still completely saturating up with blood.
Please refer to the back of this booklet to see what medications have been recommended for you to take. These may be a written prescription or an over the counter medication. It is important to carefully read the directions on the bottle for proper dosage and directions.
Swelling may not occur until the day following your surgery. It is still very important to keep your head elevated and to start icing immediately following your surgery to help decrease your swelling and pain. Swelling usually peaks approximately 48-72 hours following surgery and then gradually decreases. We recommend applying ice to the outside of your face at the surgery site 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the hours you are awake. After 48 hours of ice, we recommend you switch to moist heat. Ice is used initially to limit swelling and the heat will then help to decrease what swelling has already occurred. Moist heat should be applied in the same fashion as ice, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the hours you are awake.
24 hours after your procedure you may begin to feel your stitches loosening or falling out, this is normal! In most cases, sutures are dissolvable and will begin to completely dissolve in about 5-7 days.
The day AFTER your surgery, you will begin to gently rinse after meals and at bedtime with warm salt water (or the rinse prescribed). Use a soft bristled toothbrush so that the gum tissue in your mouth is not inadvertently injured. Brush vertically downward on the upper teeth and upward on the lower teeth; do not brush across extraction sites horizontally.
Nausea is not uncommon after having IV anesthesia. In the event of nausea and/or vomiting do not take any medication by mouth for at least 1 hour, including your prescribed medication. We suggest sipping slowly on water, Coca Cola or ginger ale over a 15-minute period of time. When nausea subsides, you can begin solid foods and prescribed medications. If it does not subside, please contact our office at 978.682.5255.
When you leave our office following your surgery, your mouth will be numb from the local anesthesia. The numbness can last for up to 6-8 hours after the procedure. Avoid hot foods and beverages until the numbness wears off. Try not to eat anything that requires too much chewing. This could cause you to bite your lip, cheek or tongue inadvertently.
After your surgery, drink plenty of fluids (thick liquids) and eat soft foods such as: mashed potatoes, applesauce, yogurt, pudding, Jell-O, ice cream, soups, eggs, pancakes or overcooked pasta. These are only some examples of foods that you may eat. Please let any hot food or drink come to room temperature, things that are too hot can cause prolonged bleeding. Please also avoid alcoholic beverages
Things to know following surgery:
- A slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify our office at 978.682.5255. Tylenol or Ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
- Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots, rather they are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can easily be removed by your doctor. Please call our office at 978.682.5255, if you have concerns.
- If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as lip balm.
- Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in two to three days.
- Stiffness (trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event that will resolve in time.