instructions following dental extractions

Following the extraction of a tooth some discomfort, bleeding and swelling should be expected during the next 72 hours.  Following these simple instructions will promote faster healing and help to avoid complications.

FIRST 24 HOURS

  1. Avoid touching the extraction area with your tongue or fingers.
  2. Do not suck through a straw or rinse your mouth vigourously.
  3. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
  4. Limit self to calm activities as this keeps blood pressure down which limits bleeding.
  5. Avoid alcoholic beverages and try not to smoke.

All of these activities may dislodge the clot, slow healing, promote continued bleeding and can lead to the development of a painful condition called a dry socket.

BLEEDING: Continue to bite on the gauze provided for the next 30 minutes. If bleeding continues after you remove this, place another gauze pad on the area and bite firmly for another 30 minutes.  Some oozing from the area is normal.  Keep your head elevated with pillows to help control the bleeding at night.

PAIN: Pain that lasts up to a week, but is gradually improving should be considered typical.  Pain that seems to be getting worse after 4 days should be considered abnormal and may require evaluation.  Over the counter analgesic medication is usually sufficient.  A prescription for stronger analgesic can be given if needed.  Try not to take pain medication on an empty stomach.  It is a good idea to take some before the numbness wears off.

SWELLING: You may get post extraction swelling, this should begin to recede after 3 - 4 days.  To help reduce swelling place an ice bag on the outside of the face for cycles of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.  If the swelling persists contact the surgery.  DO NOT apply heat to the face as this can increase swelling.

DIET: On the day of the extraction drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods, cold and soft foods are most pleasant such as milkshakes, yoghurts, soups, mashed potatoes, bananas etc. Do not eat hot and spicy foods.  The next day eat normally.

FOLLOWING DAY

Gently rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash or warm salty water 3 times a day.  Resume normal dental routines of brushing and flossing.

OVER NEXT FEW WEEKS

Over the following weeks you may get small fragments of bone that work their way to the surface of the wound.  These usually eventually fall away, if they become a problem contact the surgery.  Expect changes in the shape of the gums in the area to take place over many months.

IF ANY PROBLEMS OR QUERIES ARISE PLEASE CONTACT THE SURGERY PH 07 4153 1286