After Tooth Extraction
If you have had IV anesthesia in our offices, you may be sleepy for the majority of the day after surgery and will need a quiet, comfortable place to rest. You will require a responsible adult to stay with you and care for you until the effects of the anesthesia have worn off – in some cases this takes 6-8 hours. You will not be able to drive, return to school/work and should refrain from making important decisions or signing legal documents on the day of your surgery.
SMOKING delays healing and increases your risk of a “dry socket” or post-operative infection. Do not smoke for 3 days following surgery.
ICE PACKS will help alleviate swelling if applied for the first 24-36 hours after surgery. Apply ice to the outside of the face over the surgery areas. Swelling usually peaks at about 48 hours and gradually subsides over the upcoming week. Frozen peas or corn in their original packs also work well as cold compresses.
BLEEDING is normal for up to 24 hours after surgery. Immediately after surgery you should bite gently on the gauze that was placed at the office. This should be a constant but gentle pressure to the area. This helps a blood clot to form. Remove this guaze after one hour. Most of the bleeding will be stopped by then and the gauze should remain out of your mouth. If bleeding continues or seems excessive, you may bite gently on a tea bag moistened in warm water and placed over the area. This may be repeated. In some cases you may notice minor oozing for several days after your surgery as you begin to talk more or challenge your chewing with a more normal diet. If bleeding persists or seems to be a problem, you should contact our office immediately.
PAIN can be managed by taking the medication prescribed for you. You may have more tenderness and soreness in your gums and jaw as the local numbing medicine wears off. It is importatnt that pain medications be taken with plenty of liquid or small amounts of food to prevent an upset stomach.
Taking medications more than prescribed may lead to unexpected medical complications and emergencies: Please follow all directions for medication usage.
ACTIVITY should be limited for the first two to three (2-3) days after surgery. No vigorous activity is recommended as this may increase swelling, bleeding, pain and lead to further post operative complications.
EATING softer foods such as soup, milk shakes, ice cream, cottage cheese and yogurt will be the easiest after surgery. Jaw stiffness is normal and may peak 2-3 days after surgery, lasting for up to several days. Moving the jaw will help with the stiffness as does trying to resume a more normal diet. Avoid hard or crunchy foods such as carrots, popcorn or nuts until the jaw is more comfortable. Proper nutrition and hydration is necessary for healing so do not skip meals and drink plenty of liquids.
ORAL HYGIENE is very important for healing. Keep your mouth clean by gently brushing over the surgical areas. You may start using warm water rinses ( a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water may be mixed ) several times a day until healing is complete. In some cases a medicated prescription mouth rinse may be added to your recovery regimen.
FOLLOW-UP CARE may be scheduled to make sure you are helaing properly and to answer any questions you have about your surgery. There is no charge for this follow-up care. If you have not had a visit scheduled and feel you would like to come in, please call the office for an appointment.
AFTER HOUR questions may be handled by contacting our on call surgeon: 425-977-4109