After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form 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 appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, insert another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. If bleeding does not subside, please call our office for further instructions.
A certain amount of swelling is normal after surgery and usually is proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks and sides of the face is not uncommon. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two plastic bags filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.
For moderate pain, take one or two of the prescribed paracetamol and ibuprofen combination tablets (Nuromol® / Maxigesic®) every four to six hours.
For severe pain, take the prescribed Tramadol® tablets in addition to the tablets above. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and slow down your reflexes. Do not drive a car or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists beyond the third day after surgery, it may require attention and you should call our office.
You may eat anything soft (eg: scrambled eggs, pasta, mashed veges, soup, noodles, ice cream, yoghurt, custard, jellies and milk shakes) by chewing away from the surgical site(s). High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Try to maintain a normal diet. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least five to six glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort, and heal faster if you continue to eat.
No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least five to six times a day with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt (or an antiseptic mouthwash, if prescribed), especially after eating. It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal postoperative occurrence, which may occur two to three days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.
Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions.
Sutures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it.
The sutures used are dissolvable, but can take up to 3 weeks to do so.
There is often an open cavity where the tooth was removed. The cavity will gradually fill in with new bone over the next month. In the meantime, the area should be kept clean, especially after meals, with salt-water rinses or a toothbrush. Do not attempt to clear food particles from the socket with a toothpick or paperclip, as it may cause infection.