Post-Operative Instructions for Tooth Removal

IMMEDIATE POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Aside from filling prescriptions, go directly home following procedure.  Attempt to eat COLD and SOFT foods (milkshake/ frosty (eat w/ spoon), ice cream etc) and take your pain medications as soon as possible (taking pain-meds on an empty stomach will cause nausea).
  • Icing is very important during the first 72 hours to reduce the amount of swelling, use ICE packs on the side of the face (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, repeat continuously for the first 72 hours). If using Cool Comfort wrap, please be sure to read the instructions included with the Cool Comfort Wrap machine.
  • Consuming plenty of fluids and nutrition is important.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery for at least 24 hours, especially if prescribed narcotic pain medication.
  • Do not consume alcohol or take any over the counter pain medication unless prescribed or discussed with your Oral Surgeon.
  • Avoid the use of tobacco products for at least seven days.

DIET:

  • Use a liquid diet the day of surgery and move towards a soft food diet the second day or as soon as can be tolerated. Whether liquid or soft food, it is highly suggested to stick with colder liquids and foods the first two days. Good options are: Ice Cream (no nuts or toppings), milkshakes/ frosty (eat w/ spoon), popsicles, applesauce, yogurt, Jello, pudding, or smoothies (with no fruit seeds).
  • Drink plenty of liquids from the start, but avoid the use of straws for two weeks as the suction can dislodge the clots at the surgical site, pull bacteria into the surgical sites or cause infections or dry sockets.
  • No carbonated beverages or alcohol for five days. 
  • On the third and fourth day all food should be served at no warmer than room temperature. Hot foods, soups, or drinks can dissolve the blood clot. Good options are: scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soup broth, pastas (no tomato).
  • Stay away from small foods such as rice, small beans, or foods with seeds. These foods can easily become stuck in sockets. Avoid acidic foods, soups, or drinks (eg: citrus fruits, ketchup).
  • At the five day mark you may advance your diet to a normal diet as tolerated. You may want to start out by cutting all solid food into small pieces.

MEDICATIONS:

  • You may be prescribed Tylenol 1,000mg to take every 6 hours and Ibuprofen 600mg to take every 6 hours. Alternate these medications every 3 hours.
  • If additional pain medications are prescribed please follow the directions on prescription. If you should have any questions please contact our office prior to taking.
  • If Antibiotics are prescribed please take the entire course as directed until they are gone.

MOUTH RINSE:

  • Following the first day it is generally a good idea to gently rinse with a warm diluted salt solution (1/4 teaspoon in 8 oz water).  Rinsing vigorously may dislodge blood clots and interrupt the normal healing process.  Avoid the use of commercial mouthwashes, as they may contain alcohol, which can delay initial healing.
  • Starting the third day following surgery- gently swish, twice a day, with prescribed mouth-wash. Do not rinse mouth after swishing and spitting out excess rinse.  If not prescribed mouth rinse, use warm salt water.
  • One week following surgery begin using supplied syringe to rinse out sockets following each meal. Syringe may be filled w/ Peridex mouth rinse, lukewarm water, or a half and half solution of the two. 

SURGICAL SITE CARE:

  • Bite on gauze packing over the extraction site(s), applying constant firm pressure, do not chew. Change gauze every 30-45 minutes until bleeding has stopped. It is better to continually bite on the gauze than to keep changing it every few minutes.  If the extraction site(s) are still bleeding after 24 hours, bite down on a moist tea bag. Slight bleeding may occur following extraction of teeth and is expected for the first few days.  If excessive bleeding occurs, contact our office as we may want to evaluate the site in person. 
  • Use an extra pillow under your head while resting to remain in a propped up position, refrain from lying flat while awake or sleeping for the first 48 hours following surgery.  You may want to cover the pillow with a towel.
  • Resume brushing your teeth thoroughly but gently starting the night of the surgery. Use minimal toothpaste and refrain from using any other mouth rinses, besides the one prescribed.
  • Two days after surgery, you may apply warm compresses on the side of the face to aid in decreasing swelling. 
  • Normal swelling will reach a peak on the fourth and fifth day after surgery.  It is normal to have bruising in the area of the surgery. 

ACTIVITY:

  • Do not engage in sports, exercise, aerobics, heavy work, or heavy lifting or any activity that increases the heart rate for seven to ten days. Vigorous activity can cause site(s) to bleed heavier or to begin bleeding again.

SYMPTOMS TO REPORT TO YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY:

  • Temperature greater than 101.5°F.
  • Increasing pain or pain that does not resolve with medication. Typically the most discomfort and swelling is expected on the third, fourth and fifth days after surgery.
  • Persistent or recurrent nausea and vomiting after the day of surgery. 
  • Bleeding beyond what your doctor told you to expect.