Post-Op: Dental Extractions

There are many reasons to undergo dental extractions, with most cases arising from tooth damage from decay or infection. A tooth may also need to be removed if your mouth is crowded or you have experienced trauma. Taking care of your teeth following an extraction is extremely important. Below are common steps that should be taken after a dental extraction and symptoms you may experience:

Bleeding, Swelling and Discomfort 

After a dental extraction, bleeding can occur for several hours. To suppress bleeding, apply pressure (but not too much) to the area using two gauze pads. You can leave the gauze pads in for 30-60 minutes or change to new set when needed. Swelling around the face and below your eyes is normal and can occur days after the procedure. You can use an ice pack to keep cheek swelling to a minimum by applying 20 minutes at a time. Furthermore, after a dental extraction, please keep your head up on pillows when sleeping.

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort, you can take over the counter medication such as ibuprofen. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection. Please note: avoid operating any machinery while taking medicine.

Stitches and Dry Socket 

Stitches will fall out on their own, 7-10 days after the extraction. In addition, it is important to follow proper aftercare procedures to avoid dry socket. Dry socket forms when blood clots fall out of a tooth’s socket. Symptoms of dry socket include pain in the ears and jaw. To prevent dry socket, please do not use a straw or rinse/spit forcefully. Please make sure to get plenty of rest, as strenuous exercise can influence the healing process. If you think you may have dry socket, please contact us right away! 

Hygiene and Diet

Please do not rinse brush your teeth for the first 24 hours following the surgery. After 24 hours, you can rinse with a salt water solution. Mix a ½-teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of water. This salt water rinse can be done three times a day, preferably after eating meals. Remember, make sure to rinse gently. 

After a dental extraction chose soft foods such as applesauce, pudding, mashed potatoes, and smoothies to eat. Please do not eat spicy or hot temperature foods. 

If you are experiencing any unusual discomfort, please call us at 212-587-0202! To learn more about post-op dental extraction instructions, visit our full guide here. At Premier Dental Associates, your dental health is our top priority!  

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