After Tooth Extraction
The following information applies after you have had a tooth extracted. It is 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, remove the saturated pad, replace with another one, 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, or brush teeth over 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.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
You should begin taking pain medication before you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. You may have numbness that lasts up to 8 hours. DO NOT take any pain medication on an empty stomach. For mild pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 4-6 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain. For moderate pain 1-2 Tylenol and 3 Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken together every 6 hours. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed (if taking prescribed medication, discontinue taking Tylenol, or any other Acetaminophen product). Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. If you experience an adverse reaction to any of the pain medication, discontinue use and contact our office.
If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone.
Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
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 clean and healthy.
After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling beyond 4 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available if you need to speak to a doctor after hours.
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