Instructions Following Dental Extractions

  1. After a tooth extraction, it is important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That is why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If persistent oozing occurs, apply a moistened tea bag, covered with a piece of gauze in U shape and compress the area firmly for 30 minutes. Do not take it out to check it during this time. Also, remain sitting or standing, do not lay down. You may have to repeat this several times.
  2. After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, spit, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and slow down the healing process.
  3. Avoid physical exertion this week, especially during the first two days, since this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
  4. When anesthesia wears off, you may experience slight discomfort, readily controlled with Ibuprofen or Tylenol. If more moderate discomfort is anticipated, a prescription will be given, please take as directed. Start pain relievers before your anesthesia wears off to prevent discomfort.
  5. If antibiotics have been prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection appear to be gone. If you are currently taking oral contraceptive medication please beware that any antibiotics taken can interfere with the birth control for the full cycle.
  6. Swelling may occur after the extraction. Placing an ice-pack over your face on the treated side can minimize swelling. Alternating 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off starting the day of surgery is recommended. This can continue for no longer than 24 hours.
  7. Do not brush or floss the area of the surgery, but maintain optimal oral hygiene in the rest of your mouth.
  8. A well-balanced diet is necessary during healing. This should consist of liquids and soft foods. Please see the reverse side for examples of recommended food.
  9. Call the office if you experience extreme pain, bleeding or swelling, or if you have any further questions.