Post Extraction Instructions

The following guidelines will help ensure the quickest healing time for patients who have had teeth extracted. Please follow these guidelines and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns at 561-4047.

The gauze on which you are biting should be removed one hour after surgery. If there is no bleeding, the packs should not be replaced.  If any of the surgery areas continue to ooze, fold one of the pieces of gauze we gave you into quarters, moisten it and place it directly over the oozing sites for an additional thirty minutes.  Remove and discard the gauze, repeating as many times as needed until the oozing stops. It is not unusual to ooze slightly up to 48 hours.  Place an old towel over your pillowcase to prevent stains.

Minimize swelling with ice and elevation. As soon as you arrive home and are settled comfortably, apply ice packs to the outside of your cheek over the extraction area and keep them in place as much as possible for the initial 24 hours after surgery.  Ice cubes in a baggie or a dishtowel or gel packs from any pharmacy will work fine. It is also helpful to elevate the head slightly higher than the heart.

Resume eating and drinking with caution. Once the gauze packs have been removed it is fine to eat and drink.  The food shoulder be very soft, requiring very little chewing (yogurt, pudding, scrambled eggs) and the beverages should not be carbonated (fruit juice, water).  Do not eat or drink anything extremely hot until the numbness is completely gone so as not to burn your lip or tongue.  Frequently a long lasting anesthetic is used for oral surgery, so it is not unusual for the numbness to remain up to twelve hours.   

Do not rinse, spit, smoke or drink through a straw for the first 24 hours!!  This is to help avoid dislodging the blood clots that form in the extraction sites.  If the blood clot is dislodged a painful dry socket can occur. 

Pain medication:  If you are able to take ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) you should take two tablets (400 mg) every four hours for the first 48-72 hours during the time you are awake.  This will help control pain and swelling.  If ibuprofen is not adequate for pain control, Dr. Murphy has given you a prescription for stronger pain medication.  If the prescription medication does not control the pain and/or if the pain appears to be worsening, is throbbing, or keeps you awake at night, please call the office.  You may have developed a dry socket which requires treatment.

Saline rinses:  After the first 24 hours you may begin using warm saline (salt water) rinses 3 or 4 times a day for 7-10 days (1/4 tsp. salt in a 6 or 8 oz. glass of warm water).  This will help keep the surgery areas clean and aid in healing.  Brush the rest of your teeth normally, avoiding the areas that are tender.

Stitches: Your stitches may be the dissolving type.  Do not be alarmed if they begin coming out on their own 2-7 days following surgery.  If you do not have dissolving stitches, you will need to return to the office 7-10 days after surgery to have them removed.