extractions - patient instructions
Follow these instructions carefully to ensure the successful healing of your tooth extraction.
Before the Procedure
Schedule some time off, so you can take it easy for several days after your tooth extraction.
If you are a woman taking birth control pills, schedule your appointment during the last week of your cycle.
Arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home.
We may recommend that you take an anti-inflammatory medication before your appointment.
When to Call Us
It’s normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a tooth extraction, but call us right away if you have:
It’s important that a blood clot forms on the extraction site to stop bleeding, reduce pain, and speed healing. To protect the clot and avoid the pain of dry socket:
To control discomfort, take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended.
To keep swelling to a minimum, use an ice bag over the area, 20 minutes on 20 minutes off.
When the numbness has worn off completely, drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side.
After the First 24 Hours
Begin to eat normally as soon as it’s comfortable.
Resume brushing and flossing, but clean gently around the site for a week.
If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
Reduce soreness or swelling by applying moist heat. Swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.
Further reduce swelling by rinsing your mouth very gently with warm salt water. Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water. Rinse two to three times a day for the week following the extraction.