Extraction Post-Operative Instructions

When you have a tooth/teeth removed, you are leaving an open socket. In order for proper healing to occur, our dentists recommend that you follow the post-operative instructions listed below.

1. Keep gentle pressure over the socket area with gauze for the first 30 minutes following the extraction. If seepage of blood continues, change your dressing and apply gentle pressure until the bleeding stops. If bleeding persists for 3-4 hours following the extraction you can bite on a moistened tea bag (non-herbal).

2. To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your face for a period of 5 minutes. Leave the ice pack off for 20 minutes and then re-apply for 5 minutes. Continue this for as long as needed. DO NOT apply the ice pack continually as skin damage may occur.

3. Delay smoking for as long as possible following your extraction. Smoking inhibits proper clotting and healing in the extraction site. Smoking can also significantly increase the risk of dry socket.

4. Rinsing is not recommended immediately following the extraction, however you may rinse GENTLY with water if necessary. Avoid the extraction site. In the days following the extraction, rinse GENTLY with warm salt water. This will help to minimize possible infection.

5. Eat only what you feel comfortable with. A soft diet is recommended. Avoid chewing in the extraction area.

6. Small, sharp bone fragments may work their way up through the gums during the healing process. These ARE NOT roots of the tooth. If the fragments are annoying you may call the office for a return visit.

7. If medications are prescribed take exactly as directed on the prescription bottle.

8. Rest for at least 1-3 days following your extraction and call the office with any questions or concerns regarding your healing process.

9. If you are experiencing pain that is not getting better or is worsening significantly please call our dental office. You will most likely require a return visit.

Post Operative Instructions for Immediate Denture(s)

If you have had one or more teeth removed to accommodate the placement of an immediate dentures, you must leave the denture(s) in your mouth for 24 hours after they are inserted. The dentures will act as a bandage; they help limit bleeding and prevent breakdown of blood clots that form in the extraction sockets. Normally bleeding is minimal, however a few drops of blood may redden the saliva for a day or longer.

Anytime you have teeth removed, swelling and discomfort are to be expected. Swelling may be reduced by the use of ice packs. Apply the pack in the swollen area for 5 minutes. Leave the pack off for 20 minutes, then you can reapply. Follow this 5 on, 20 off regimen for no longer than 24 hours. You may use over the counter pain relievers, making sure that you follow instructions on the bottle. Your doctor may also prescribe you pain medication. Make sure that you follow all instructions on the prescription bottle.

Your diet for the first 24-48 hours should remain restricted to liquids and soft foods. Avoid carbonated or hot beverages. Avoid spicy foods and try to do your chewing away from the extraction sites if possible. After the 24-48 hour period, eat what feels comfortable to you.

Care after insertion varies for each patient depending on the general health, the number of teeth removed, the difficulty experienced in removing the teeth and the anatomic form of the remaining ridges and soft tissues. Your family dentist will discuss your specific requirements with you and schedule your post operative visits accordingly.

You may notice small, sharp bone fragments working their way out through your gums. These are not roots of the teeth and will usually work themselves out on their own. If they bother you, please call the Portland Dental Group office to schedule and appointment to have them removed.

You will most likely get sore spots from your new dentures. These will not go away on their own and you should call the office to schedule an appointment to have your new denture adjusted. Your gums will also start to re-contour (shrink) during the healing process and gradually your denture will become looser. You can also use an over the counter denture adhesive to help keep the dentures more stable. Make sure to keep the adhesive away from the extraction sites.

Eventually the major changes in your tissues caused by the healing process will require a laboratory processed reline. This reline was discussed with you during your original treatment planning process and typically occurs 5-7 months after the initial placement.

Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions.