Take Home Instructions

Instructions After a Tooth Extraction

You will leave our office with gauze over the extraction site. Keep firm pressure on the gauze for one hour. After one hour, remove the gauze. If the area is still bleeding, place another gauze on the area and keep firm pressure on the gauze for another hour. If bleeding persists, you can also bite gently but firmly on a moist tea bag for 20 minutes.  Keep your head elevated to stop the bleeding. Please call our office if bleeding continues or increases.

Take pain medication before the numbness goes away, probably at the time you remove the gauze. Some discomfort after the extraction is normal. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, is usually sufficient. We can also give you a prescription for a stronger pain reliever if needed. To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.

Swelling is a natural reaction of the body to surgery. Swelling should begin to go down 1-2 days after surgery. You can also decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack -- 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off -- for the first 6 hours following the extraction.

A blood clot will form on the extraction site, and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink liquids through a straw, and do not spit vigorously.

Blowing your nose or sneezing violently can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing, so if you have an upper respiratory infection or suffer from allergies, be sure to have the appropriate sinus medication on hand.

Smoking and allowing food particles to pack into the tooth's socket should be avoided, as both will significantly affect the healing process. DO NOT SMOKE for 48 hours.

Twenty-four hours following the procedure, you can rinse gently with a warm salt water solution (dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water). Gently swish the solution around the affected area and spit carefully.

If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.

Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following surgery.

Continue to eat and drink the day of surgery. It is usually easier to eat softer and colder foods.

Be sure to brush and floss the other areas of your mouth as you would normally.

Please call our office if you have any questions.