Instructions For Care After Dental Extractions
If your surgery included bone graft, you may notice granules in your mouth for a few days after the surgery. This is normal and will subside as your body heals. Following the below instructions will ensure the best, and fastest healing possible.
Anesthetic & Numbness
Extractions are done with the use of a local anesthetic to numb the treated area. This numbness can easily last for several hours and in order to avoid unnecessary damage to the teeth, tongue and/or gums, precautionary measures should be observed. This includes avoiding drinking hot and cold liquids and chewing gum or foods. Piercings should also be removed and left out until the numbness is completely gone whenever possible. In rare cases, numbness can last for days or even months. If you are still experiencing numbness after 12 hours, please contact your Station Dental office.
Food & Drink
For the first 48 hours, it is important to avoid hot liquids and carbonated drinks. Instead, drink water or juice or suck on ice chips or popsicles. These can also help reduce any pain and swelling associated with the extraction. However, be careful not to create so much suction that the blood clot comes out.
Once the numbness has subsided, add in soft foods such as mashed potatoes and pasta. Use your best judgement based on comfort as to when you should begin adding more firm foods into your diet. Do not chew directly on the site of the surgery until after directed by your dentist or after sutures have been removed/dissolved.
Bleeding & Dry Socket
Bleeding is common after surgery and usually continues for several hours. Biting on damp gauze for 30 minutes where the extraction occurred can help slow the bleeding by applying pressure to the area. Be sure the gauze is damp, however, or it will stick to the surgery site. Keep your head elevated and keep your activity to a minimum. If bleeding continues, repeat the above instructions until bleeding subsides. You can also bite gently on a moist tea bag. Small amounts of blood in the saliva for 2-3 days is normal. Anything different and you should call your Station Dental office.
Sometimes the blood clot can come out of the extraction site leading to what’s called dry socket. This generally results in constant pain that may be specific to the extraction site but may also radiate to nearby areas including the jaw and ear. Dry socket will normally not occur until 5 or more days after your extraction. If this happens, please call the office.
Pain & Swelling
Generally, pain should be expected after surgery and is usually treated with ibuprofen. This should be first taken before the anesthetic wears off. If pain medication was prescribed, alternate this with ibuprofen until the pain is manageable. Please follow any instructions on the medication bottles and contact Station Dental if you are unsure of dosage. No medications taken should exceed the recommended dosage.
Swelling is also a normal reaction and is usually seen the day after your surgery. You can expect swelling to last for 2-3 days, sometimes up to 10 days. If it lasts longer than this, contact Station Dental. To minimize your swelling, use ice packs applied to the outside of the face for 20 minutes at a time with at least a 20-minute break in between applications.
Oral Hygiene & Healing
You will experience better and faster healing with good oral hygiene including cleaning your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning 24 hours after surgery. Don’t be surprised if you notice bad breath as this is common and should disappear as your mouth heals.
Your stitches are designed to resorb or fall out. Sometimes a stitch may even come out on the day of surgery. This is normal and does not generally pose any risk. Try not to pull on any strings from the sutures as this can cause damage to the site.
Smoking & Tobacco Use
It is strongly advised that you refrain from smoking after your oral surgery for as long as possible. Smoking and using tobacco products can have a severe negative affect on your oral health and ability to heal.