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Postoperative Instructions After Tooth (Teeth) Extraction

General Instructions

After extraction of teeth, a blood clot forms in the remaining socket. To prevent post-operative inflammation and infection, it is important to keep this blood clot in place.
Therefore, for the first 24 hours:

  • Do not vigorously rinse your mouth as this may rinse away the blood clot.
  • Maintain liquid diet, for example, soups, juices, milkshakes. Do not use drinking straws.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not disturb the surgical site with your tongue or fingers.

Bleeding

After tooth removal, it is normal to ooze blood from the tooth socket for about 24 hours. To minimize bleeding:

  • Bite on damp gauze for one hour after extraction. Repeat this with fresh gauze each hour until the bleeding slows down.
  • Elevate your head with a pillow. Do not lie down flat, as this will increase bleeding.
  • Limit your activity today.

Swelling

It is normal to swell and possibly have some bruising after tooth removal. The swelling is greatest 24 hours after surgery. It should then resolve over a period of four days. To minimize swelling:

  • Immediately following the procedure, place ice packs over the area of surgery. Leave the pack on for ten minutes and then off for ten minutes. Continue this for the rest of the afternoon.
  • After the first 24 hours, it is not necessary to continue the cold application.

PostOperative Discomfort

After removal of teeth, it is normal to experience some amount of discomfort when the anesthesia wears off. The medication prescribed, taken as directed, should alleviate the post-operative pain and discomfort. Do not operate a motor vehicle or machinery while taking pain medication. It can make you drowsy.

Infection

After surgical procedures, there is always a chance that an infection might develop. This does not happen in most cases. After procedures that have a higher incidence of post-operative infection, a prescription for antibiotics may be given. Please take this medication as directed until it is finished. Women taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills) please note: penicillin and penicillin-like drugs temporarily decrease the effectiveness of the birth control pills. Other methods of contraception are recommended while taking these antibiotics.

Sutures

Depending on the extent of the procedure, sutures (stitches) may be placed in order to help wound healing. If you have sutures, the doctor will inform you of this after the procedure. Sutures that dissolve should fall off in about four to five days. The non-dissolvable sutures need to be removed in seven to ten days.

Warning Signs

If any of the following should occur, contact us during the day at (847) 272-9516, or during the evening or night call (847) 272-9516 and ask the answering service to page your doctor on call.

  • Bleeding which cannot be controlled by biting firmly on gauze for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Pain which is not alleviated by the prescribed dose of medication. Do Not experiment with higher doses.
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting.
  • An increase in swelling after the first 48 hours, or swelling which interferes with swallowing.
  • A very foul-tasting discharge that is unrelieved by normal oral hygiene.
  • Fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other Instructions

If you have received I.V. sedation for your procedure, you should rest at home with moderate activity as tolerated.

For the next 24 hours:

  • Do Not drive a car, operate machinery or power tools.
  • Do Not drink any alcoholic beverages including beer.
  • Do Not engage in any athletic sport activities, such as, basketball, jogging, etc.

Questions or Problems

If you feel that you are experiencing any problems or have any questions please call either Dr. Nickel or Dr. Steinberg at (847) 272 9516. On weekends or after hours this number transfers to the answering service and the “on call” doctor will be contacted.

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