Post Operative Instructions

After Extractions 

Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas.  Do not change them for the first 30 minutes.  The packs may be gently removed, it is best to moisten the gauze with tap water to assure the gauze does not tug on the blood clot. Do not eat, drink or sleep with gauze in your mouth. Oozing may continue for 24 hours.

PERSISTENT BLEEDING:  Bleeding should never be severe.  If so, it usually means that the gauze packs are being clenched between teeth only and are not exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try repositioning the packs.  If bleeding persists or becomes heavy you may substitute a moist tea bag for 20 or 30 minutes. The tannic acid helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office. 630-364-2888.

DIET:  Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort.  Avoid extremely hot foods.  Do NOT use a straw for the first week after surgery.  It is advisable, to confine the first day’s intake to liquids or pureed foods (soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.)  It is best to avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas.  Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods.  It is important not to skip meals!  If you take nourishment regularly you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster.  If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.

MEDICATIONS: For pain, please use over the counter medications first; these may include Advil, Motrin or Ibuprofen. You may take up to 3 tablets (600mg) every 6 hours for 3 days. If you need something stronger, use the prescribed medication given to you. Do NOT take Tylenol (Acetaminophen) if you are also using the prescription pain medication; the prescription already contains Tylenol.

Make sure you have food or liquid in your stomach when taking these medications to reduce stomach distress such as nausea or vomiting. Do NOT take more medicine than directed.

A certain amount of pain following extractions is not uncommon. Severity of pain is usually related to the condition of the teeth before extractions or the difficulty in removing the teeth. After 3 days, the pain should be minimal. If your pain is increasing in severity and/or you have significant ear pain, please contact our office.

ORAL HYGIENE: Do NOT disturb the surgical area today.  Do NOT rinse vigorously, spit or probe the area with any objects.  You may resume brushing your teeth gently the day after surgery. If you have been prescribed Chlorhexidine Rinse, use rinse for at least 30 seconds 2 x’s a day for 5 days. PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since this is very detrimental to healing and may cause a dry socket. You may be given a plastic irrigating syringe that will start 5 days after your surgery. Fill the syringe with warm tap water and rinse lower extraction sites twice a day. You do not have to flush upper extraction sites.  

SUTURES: If the sockets have been sutured, the sutures should dissolve in 5 – 7 days. If you had some Bone Grafting done in the extraction site, you will not have dis-solvable sutures and it will be sealed with tissue glue. If the tissue glue starts to flake off, please do not try to pull it out due to the reason that it’s connected with your sutures. You will be given an appointment to come back in 2 weeks to have them removed.

SWELLING: In certain cases, swelling will arise. The swelling will begin in the gum tissue next to the socket. This swelling can extend into the cheek and neck area. Ice packs are very important and will help minimize swelling. The ice packs should be applied for about 20 minutes, each hour, for the first 24 hours.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: There is to be no physical activity (exercise, etc.) for at least 5 days following the procedure.  Also, there is to be no lifting more than 15 lbs.

BONE FRAGMENTS: It is possible that during the healing process, small sharp fragments of bone may loosen and work through the gums. These fragments, which are not parts of the tooth, usually work out of the gum on their own. If they become bothersome, call the office. 

Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all of the instructions may apply.  Common sense will often dictate what you should do.  However, when in doubt follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification.  Our number is 630-364-2888.