Extraction Post-Operative Instructions

  1. For most surgical procedures, it is important to keep a firm gauze pack over the surgical site for the first hour following surgery. This pack may be replaced several times during this hour. In some instances, firm pressure with a gauze pack may be necessary for two to three hours after surgery. If heavy bleeding occurs after the first hour, a wet tea bag may be placed over the area with firm biting pressure. A small amount of oozing may be present for as long as six to eight hours.

  2. A certain amount of swelling is normal following a surgical procedure. This swelling usually lasts four or five days. DO apply ice packs intermittently to the outside of the face next to the surgery site for approximately 24 hours after surgery. DON'T apply ice after 24 hours unless the doctor instructs you to do so.

  3. DON'T rinse your mouth or spit forcefully the day of surgery. This can loosen the blood clot. Starting the day after surgery, DO rinse gently with warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of warm water) to promote healing. DO brush your teeth as usual starting the day of surgery.

  4. DO eat soft foods, such as soups, malts or shakes, and gelatin desserts, for the first day or so. DO drink lots of fluids but avoid using a straw, which can create a suction that may loosen the blood clot protecting the socket. DON'T eat hard foods, such as rock candy, chips, or nuts, for about six to eight weeks. Surgery can weaken the jaw bone, making it susceptible to fracture.

  5. DON'T take pain pills on an empty stomach, because they can cause an upset stomach. DON'T drink alcohol while taking any prescribed pain medication. DON'T smoke after surgery. Smoking can create a suction that may loosen the protective blood clot.

  6. If any event occurs that you do not understand or if you feel you should consult with the doctor, please call one of these numbers: