Post Surgical Instructions
Patients should closely follow our postoperative instructions for all tooth extractions and other surgeries.
After Your Procedure
Upon leaving, if there is gauze in your mouth, remove in 30 minutes. Replace it with fresh gauze and bite down firmly for 20 minutes, or until bleeding has stopped.
A certain amount of bleeding is natural and desirable. Mild oozing of blood may be expected for 24 to 36 hours following the operation, and your saliva may become discolored from the blood clot. This is normal and should cause no alarm.
If bleeding is excessive or prolonged, dry the mouth and remove the excess blood clot from around the socket area. Place a dry sterile gauze, a sanitary napkin, or a tea bag moistened in cold water directly over the bleeding area. Bite down with firm pressure for 30 minutes and repeat if necessary. Sit upright, stay quiet and do not spit or talk while biting on pack. If this does not stop the excessive bleeding, please contact the office.
As a proper blood clot is essential for healing, it is important you do not disturb the blood clot for the first 48 hours following surgery. Creating suction, spitting, exploring the wound with your tongue, finger, toothpick, etc., should be avoided.
DO NOT RINSE YOUR MOUTH FOR 24 HOURS following surgery as this may disturb the blood clot. Rinse with warm salt water if you were instructed to do so. You may brush your teeth the day following extraction, using caution not to disturb extraction areas.
An adequate diet is essential during the healing process. Begin with cool liquid and soft foods such as juices, jello, yogurt, applesauce, shakes and then progress to soft meats, cheeses, etc. as tolerated. Do not use a straw. If unable to eat adequately use a liquid protein diet such as Ensure.
There should be minimal physical activity the day of surgery. Rest or sleep after arriving home, as exercise encourages bleeding. Normal activities may then be resumed as tolerated or as instructed. Do not smoke for at least 4 days after surgery. If pain or swelling occurs after the area has apparently healed, or if any doubt arises as to your progress and recovery, contact our office.
Sutures & Healing
We typically use resorbable sutures (stitches). They begin to dissolve within 2-3 days. It’s ok for them to come out. If you notice any significant and persistent bleeding please let us know.
Extraction sockets will generally close within 6 weeks. It will take several months for the sockets to actually fill with bone. If food gets trapped in the socket area, be sure to clean it with the water syringe given to you at the time of your surgery.
Often a follow-up visit will be scheduled for a postoperative visit to make certain healing is progressing satisfactorily. Meanwhile, we suggest maintaining a healthful diet, observe rules for proper oral hygiene, and visit your dentist for regular checkups.