Dr. Frank Carotenuto, DDS- 16 West Grant Ave, Roselle Park

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  Contact : 908-241-0100

Surgical Instructions – After Tooth Extraction

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Surgical Instructions

Surgical Instructions – After Tooth Extraction

The amount of post-operative discomfort and swelling is related to the amount of surgery necessary to remove the tooth and the number of teeth removed. Wisdom teeth usually cause the most post – operative discomfort and swelling.

After tooth extraction, it’s 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 45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 45 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, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise until a stable clot is formed 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. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg can be taken 2-3 tablets every 6-8 hours if allowed by your physcian. For severe pain use the prescription given to you. The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery. The swelling will peak 1 1/2 to 2 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Baggies filled with ice or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be placed 5 minutes on and 5 minutes off, when practical, for the first 24 hours. After which the ice has no beneficial effect and moist heat may then be helpful. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm.

Use the pain medication The swelling will peak 1 1/2 to 2 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Baggies filled with ice or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be placed 5 minutes on and 5 minutes off, when practical, for the first 24 hours. After which the ice has no beneficial effect and in fact’ moist heat may be beneficial. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery.

Use the pain medicationas directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. 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.

After general anesthesia or I.V. sedation, liquids should be initially taken. Do not drive or operate machinery while still under the influence of the anesthesia. This is usually a 24 hour period.

After the first day, use a warm salt water rinse every 4 hours if possible and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. (One half teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water.)

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