Post extraction information

After you have had an extraction you may need a day or so off work to recover, depending on how difficult the extraction was and whether sedation or general anaesthetic was used. Most people experience very little post-operation discomfort. The dentist will ensure that any bleeding has stopped before you leave the practice.

Some advice:

  • Check the space where the tooth was while it is healing to make sure there is no redness and infection.
  • For 24 hours, don’t drink alcohol, eat hot food or disturb the clot, which will have formed in the space left by the tooth, because this may cause the socket to start bleeding again. Do not smoke either, and avoid strenuous exercise for the rest of the day.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth for six hours after the extraction.
  • After six hours, rinse gently with warm salty water to keep the socket clean and continue to do this for up to a week after meals and before bed. Use half a teaspoonful of salt in a glass of comfortable warm water.
  • Brush your teeth normally with toothpaste to keep the whole mouth clean but take care in the region where the tooth was extracted.
  • If you feel small pieces of bone working their way out of the socket, don’t worry- this is normal.
  • Some swelling or discomfort in the first two to three days is normal.
  • Certain painkillers are suitable to use so you are not in any discomfort when the anaesthetic wears off, and Michael will instruct you on which ones to take.
  • If you have any problems, big or small, please do not hesitate to contact Michael at the practice on 01202 746557.

If the bleeding does not stop:

  • Your dentist may have given you a small supply of gauze to bite on in case this happens. clean cotton handkerchiefs will also do but not paper tissues.
  • Roll some small firm pads of gauze or handkerchief to a size that will fit over the socket and keep pressure on the socket using your teeth for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Check whether the bleeding has stopped after this time. If it hasn’t, use a fresh pad and keep it on for another 15 to 30 minutes. If the socket continues to bleed after an hour, contact Michael on 01202 746557.
  • Keep sitting up and gently clear way any clots of blood around the socket with gauze or a handkerchief.
Occasionally after extraction of a tooth, the blood clot in the socket can break down, leaving a painful empty hole in the gum. This is called a ‘dry socket’. If the socket becomes painful a day or two after the extraction, this is usually the reason. If this happens, you should go back to Michael to have the wound cleaned and packed with a dressing; this will relieve the pain and reduce the risk of infection.

If you follow these instructions, your mouth should heal normally, without becoming infected. But if anything in your mouth worries you, phone Michael straight away.
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