Hatfield Dental Clinic
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What should you expect when you are scheduled for a tooth extraction?

The dentist will numb the area to lessen any discomfort.  After the extraction, the dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow, in most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal.

Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing.  It is usually best not to smoke rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours.  These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing.

For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently afterward, for pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag.  Ask the dentist about pain medication.  You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual.  But don’t clean the teeth next to the tooth socket.

When having an extraction, today’s modern procedures and follow up care as recommended by the dentist are there to provide you the patient great benefit and comfort.

Post-Operative Extraction Instructions

  • Bleeding – apply damp gauze over the extraction site to prevent excessive bleeding and to promote the blood clot formation to begin healing.  Keep light, biting pressure on the gauze, changing the gauze pads every 20-30 minutes until bleeding stops.  If bleeding does not slow down after an hour, bite on a wet tea bag for about one hour.  Slight bleeding may occur for up to two days.  DO NOT suck on a straw or inhale on a cigarette for about 48 hours.  Doing so will loosen the blood clot or retard its formation.
  • Rinsing –Do not rinse your mouth the day of the extraction.  The following day you can rinse your mouth gently with a glass of warm water mixed with teaspoon of salt or two capfuls of Oxyfresh Mouthrinse.  Do this after each meal and at bedtime for at least one week.
  • Swelling –Following an extraction, some swelling and skin bruising may occur.  An ice pack applied to the cheek will keep it to a minimum.  Place the ice pack on the affected area for 20 minutes on, twenty minutes off, for about 6 hours.  If swelling occurs overnight, use heat the next day using the same on-off method as for ice.
  • Medications –If non-aspirin pain medication doesn’t relieve the discomfort you may experience, a stronger medication can be prescribed.  If prescriptions are given, follow the directions as prescribed.
  • Food –A light diet of soft foods with plenty of fluids is recommended for the first day.  Avoid carbonated or hot beverages.  Chewing should be done away from the extraction site.
  • Sleeping –If you nap or sleep following the procedure, keep your head elevated by sleeping in a recliner or using an extra pillow or two to keep your head elevated.  Do this for several days.
  • Oral Hygiene –Continue brushing and flossing, being extra gentle near the extraction site.  Apply Oxyfresh Gel to the extraction site three times daily beginning the day of the extraction.
  • Bone Chips –During healing, you may notice small bony fragments working their way through the gums.  Usually these small fragments will disappear on their own, but if the situation needs for us to remove them, we will be happy to do so.

Dry Socket

Dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a condition that sometimes occurs after a tooth is extracted.  When the socket is slow to heal, the condition can be very painful for three to five days or so.

The dentist’s treatment may include cleaning the site and placing a medicated dressing in the socket, which helps provide relief of pain.  The dentist may change the dressing daily until the pain diminishes and the socket begins to heal.  The dentist may recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or prescribe other pain relievers.

Cigarette smoking or other tobacco use can delay healing and should be avoided.