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Post-Op Instructions After Extraction

After an extraction, it is important to allow a blood clot to form at the site to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the extraction. If bleeding or oozing continues after you remove the gauze pad, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. You may also try using a clean, moist tea bag. There are ingredients in the tea that will help to reduce bleeding and help the clot develop.

After the blood clot forms, it is important to protect it, especially for the next 24 hours.

Try to avoid chewing on that side until the anesthetic we used wears off. Your lips, tongue, teeth, and cheek may be numb for a couple of hours.

Do not smoke (or use any form of tobacco) for at least 72 hours, and avoid tobacco use as much as possible for several months. Ingredients in the tobacco will slow healing.

Please avoid sucking through a straw, or sucking hard candy or mints. Also, avoid rinsing vigorously or cleaning the teeth next to the extraction site. These activities will dislodge the clot and slow down healing. Limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours in order to keep your blood pressure lower, reduce bleeding, and help the healing process.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and have some swelling. You can use an ice bag to keep this to a minimum. The swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.

Use pain medication only as directed, and call the office if it doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods on the day of the extraction. Don’t use alcoholic beverages and avoid hot and spicy foods. You can begin eating normally the next day or as soon as it is comfortable.

Gently rinse your mouth with salt water (1 tsp. of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day beginning the day after the extraction. Also, rinse gently after meals as it helps to keep food out of the extraction site.

It is very important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours; this should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing at least once a day. This speeds healing and helps keep your breath and mouth fresh.

Be sure to call us right away at 262-654-6535 if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after two or three days, or a reaction to the medication.

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