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Home Care Instructions: Surgery and Extractions

  1. Bleeding: For an hour after surgery, you should place pressure on the gauze pad covering the extraction site. If bleeding continues, apply new gauze and pressure for an additional 45 minutes. Avoid changing more often than every 45 minutes. Avoid extraneous activities.
  2. Numbness: Avoid biting or scraping your lips, cheeks, and gums. Numbness should subside within 2 hours, but until then you may accidentally damage soft tissue without realizing it.
  3. Food and Drink: Once numbness subsides you may eat food. Avoid eating hot foods or beverages. Do not eat anything crunchy or hard for the next week. Do not rinse your mouth, do not use a straw, do not spit, and do not drink carbonated beverages. Plan to eat soft foods such as soup and yogurt for the next 2-3 days.
  4. Discomfort: You can expect to have some discomfort which may be most severe on the second day but should decrease thereafter.
  5. Swelling: Swelling in the area of surgery and adjacent sites can be expected. To help minimize, wait until 24 hours after surgery then apply ice packs to treated areas of the face. Apply in 20-minute intervals: 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 3-5 hours. If swelling is present after the first 48 hours, apply a warm compress in 20-minute intervals to the affected area. Swelling will be worst 2-3 days after surgery and will decrease after.
  6. Discoloration/Bruising: Sometimes discoloration and bruising can occur. Do not be alarmed. Bruising will disappear over the next 2-3 weeks. If antibiotics were not prescribed and bruising is occurring, please contact our dental office.
  7. Medication: Mild discomfort can be controlled by taking two tablets of Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or two tablets of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) every four hours as needed for pain. Avoid any drugs containing aspirin. If a pain reliever has been prescribed, take as directed only if you have discomfort. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, take as directed until completed. If discomfort persists or severity increases after 2-3 days, please contact our dental office.