After Tooth Extraction
Home Instructions After the Removal of a Single Tooth
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for two hours immediately after the appointment. If when you take the gauze out, it is deep red and heavily saturated, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 60 minutes. You may have to do this for an additional hour to staunch the flow of blood. After 4 hours, if the gauze is still saturated and red in color, take the black Lipton tea bag we provided you and get it wet with warm water. Wrap the tea bag in a piece of gauze and bite down firmly for 2 hours without removing the tea bags. If bleeding persists heavily after these steps, call our office right away or call Dr. Kyles directly on the number provided on your post-op instruction sheet.
After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Do not smoke for 7 days as this will increase the risk of infection and “dry socket”. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases 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. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
For moderate pain, you can take 400mg of Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) 4x a day if you have no kidney dysfunction or stomach ulcers (DO NOT EXCEED 600MG EVERY 6 HOURS). You may also take 1000mg of Tylenol 3x a day if you have no liver dysfunction (DO NOT EXCEED 4000MG A DAY). Take the Ibuprofen and Tylenol whether you are experiencing pain or not for the first 48 hours following your surgery. This will help reduce the inflammation that is present or may become present. Tylenol and Ibuprofen can be taken in an alternating fashion for the most effective treatment of post operative pain. Consult our practice for individuals under 18.
For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the 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 fluids 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 fresh and clean.
The symptoms of pain should slowly improve after the surgery. Some patients can have pain for up to two weeks after surgery while it is typical for most to have minimal pain after 1 week. If you have heavy bleeding or progressively worsening redness and swelling, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Bellingham Office Phone Number 360-746-6492.