Extraction/Tooth Removal

You just had an extraction procedure done.

Whether you were put to sleep for this procedure or were only given local anesthesia, the post-operative instructions remain the same. If a local anesthetic was used to thoroughly numb the treated area, take caution not to bite or chew on your cheeks, lips and/or tongue for they may be numb for several hours following your appointment. Refrain from chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.


It should be under control by the time you leave your dentist’s office. Some oozing or blood-tinged saliva may persist for up to 24 hours. Apply pressure with a folded gauze pad over the area and bite firmly for 45 minutes should excessive bleeding occur. Repeat as necessary.


Medications recommended by your dentists are most effective when taken before the numbing diminishes and normal sensation returns to the area. Narcotic pain medication such as codeine or hydrocodone may cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, itching or constipation. If these side effects occur, discontinue the medication. You may take an alternative over the counter pain medication as necessary or call your dentist’s office for assistance.


It may occur immediately and increase gradually over 24-48 hours. Swelling from the surgical procedure will maximize at 48 to 72 hours. Ice packs applied externally to the area at 20 minutes intervals throughout the day of surgery may help control swelling, but only use them if advised to by your dentist. Sleeping with the head elevated above the level of the heart for the first 48 hours may tend to lessen swelling.


It may result from a general anesthetic or the drugs prescribed for pain. Drinking a small glass of a carbonated beverage will generally control mild nausea.


Soft foods and liquids will be required for 24 to 48 hours following surgery. Do not drink through a straw or smoke for at least 48 hours. If you had surgery on only one side of the mouth, favor the other side while chewing for the first few days.


Should not be neglected. Brush your teeth as usual. Do not brush the surgical area for 4 to 5 days.


Should be restricted to a minimum for the first 2 to 3 days. Strenuous work or exercise may promote bleeding.


Following surgery it is normal for the body temperature to be slightly elevated for 24 hours.


Ear ache, temporary ache of adjacent teeth, restricted mouth opening, stretching or cracking at the corners of the mouth or discoloration of the skin may occur postoperatively. These are temporary conditions that will improve as healing progresses.

Tooth fragments that were deemed necessary to be left in the extraction site due to the condition and position of the tooth/teeth, cause NO problems.

If they cause discomfort in the future due to pain and infection, they MUST be removed.

NERVES particularly of the lower teeth or third molars, that were IMPOSSIBLE not to touch, move, stretch, bruise, cut or severe, could send itching, tingling, or burning, or the loss of sensation to the teeth, gums, tongue, lips and chin that could last from several weeks to months, or in some cases, indefinitely.

Removal of long rooted upper teeth that extend close to the sinuses, might create a small opening into the sinuses, antibiotics and additional treatment may be needed to prevent sinus infection and help close the opening.

A painful dry socket due to disintegration or dislodgment of blood clot might last a week or more and is treated by medicated dressing into the socket to aid healing. Bone grafting the socket reduces dramatically the chance of it happening.

Although, utmost care and diligence were exercised by your dentist in rendering this treatment, your dentist has no control over these factors.

It is your dentist’s desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have concerns and/or questions about your progress, please call your dentist’s office immediately!

We encourage you to speak up if you do not like or understand some aspects of your oral care. You deserve to be heard and your dentist deserves the opportunity to listen. This is what most dentists do, and they will make considerable efforts to accomodate you.

You will be responsible for all costs incurred if you fail to follow these instructions.