Post OP Instructions


Home Care Following the Extraction of a Tooth

Proper care of the mouth following most dental procedures can reduce complications and speed the healing of the surgical area.  The initial healing period usually takes one to two weeks, and you'll likely experience some swelling for the first 24 hours.

1.    Protection of the blood clot… maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze sponge that has been placed over the surgical area, or by biting on a tea bag which has been moistened and wrapped in a piece of gauze.  Keep steady firm pressure on for 45 minutes.  Repeat as often as necessary.


2.    Do not rinse… for at least 24 hours.  After 24 hours, rinsing with warm salt water (½ teaspoon table salt in 8 oz. of warm water) every 1-2 hours is recommended.  The use of commercial mouth washes during the healing process is not recommended.


3.    Discomfort…following dental surgery is normal.  If medication has been given or prescribed, take as directed.


4.    A toothbrush… may be carefully used in the area of the mouth not involved in the surgical procedures.  A clean mouth heals faster.


5.    Eating…adequate food and fluid intake following surgery and/or general extractions is important.  If you find that eating your regular diet is too difficult, we suggest that you supplement your diet with liquids such as Carnation Instant Breakfast, Boost Nutritional Drinks, Ensure Nutritional shakes and similar products. 


6.    Avoid… all excessive activity, don’t pick at the surgical area, don’t consume liquids through a straw, avoid alcoholic beverages and refrain from smoking until healing is well established.


7.    Sutures… if they were used, do not fail to return for their removal on the appointment date given.


8.    Control of swelling…gently apply ice packs to the area for periods of 20 minutes on the area and then remove for 10 minutes. This procedure should continue for the first 24 hours only.


9.    Allergic reactions… for generalized rash, itching, etc., contact the office immediately.


10.  Do not hesitate …to call if any questions arise.


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