After Tooth Extraction

We would like to thank you for choosing us to perform your oral surgical procedure. We have provided some basic post-operative instructions to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office and a member of our surgical team will return your call in a timely fashion. Again, thank you for trusting us with your dental needs. We appreciate your business!


Some degree of discomfort and/or pain will be present after surgery. All pain medications have the ability to cause nausea and vomiting. Food or mil should be taken with all post surgical medications. Pain medications should be taken every 6 hours. Do not wait for the pain to become unbearable before taking pain medication, as then it will be more difficult to control. Moderate to severe pain usually does not last longer than 24-72 hours, sometimes peaking on the 3rd postoperative day. Numbness is common and could last up to 12 hours. Normal healing surgical pain can last up to 7-10 days. 


Expect minor bleeding or oozing from the surgical site. After surgery, gauze will be placed on the surgical site. This gauze needs to be removed 1 hour after surgery and only replace with another piece of gauze or a decaffeinated tea bag. If bleeding heavily for one hour. The gauze and/or tea bag must directly touch the bleeding area. Continuous pressure must be applied to the extraction site by closing the teeth firmly together. Repeat this process if bleeding is persistent. Oozing of blood can occur for 24-48 hours. 

Surgical Site:

Avoid vigorous chewing, excessive spitting, or rinsing for the first 24 hours as initial healing may be delayed, active bleeding restarted, or loss of clot resulting in a dry socket (s). Do not worry about the stitches if they start to come out. The stitches usually dissolve in 1-14 days and typically do not require removal. 


Swelling usually develops during the first 12-24 hours following surgery, often peaking on the 3rd post-operative day. Placing an ice pack on the swollen areas during the first 12 hours can minimize swelling. Any swelling, soreness, or stiffness in the jaw muscles can be relieved by applying a warm moist towel to the affected side of the face several times a day. No ice 24 hours after surgery. Moist warm heat ONLY if desired for comfort. 


Limit activity during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. excessive exertion may lead to postoperative bleeding and discomfort. When you lie down, keep your head elevated at least 30-45 degrees on a pillow. Do not drive an automobile for 24 hours following surgery if you have had general anesthesia or if you are taking prescription narcotic pain medication. We recommend patients do not smoke after surgery for at least 24 hours as this can prolong the healing process and can lead to dry socket (s). Dry sockets are much more common in smokers. 


Fluid intake is very important! For your own comfort, a soft cold diet is recommended for the first 24-48 hours. Do not suck liquid or food through straw and do not spit as this could cause loss of the blood clot and create a dry socket (s). We recommend minimizing alcohol consumption as this can delay the healing process. Your diet can be advanced to normal when it no longer hurts to chew. 

Oral Hygiene:

Start brushing teeth 24 hours after surgery but do not brush extraction site. Brush all other teeth in that area. No hard or vigorous brushing, rinsing or swishing when cleaning teeth. If you were given a plastic syring, start flushing the lower extraction site (s) 1 week AFTER surgery to flush out food. If you start flushing too soon, you may give yourself a dry socket (s).

Your Medications:

Take ALL antibiotics that were prescribed. Take any regularly scheduled medication on your regular schedule unless advised to do otherwise.