Post OP Instructions

After Extraction

How will my mouth feel after the surgery ?

  • Your mouth will be numb for 3- 4 hours following your surgery.
  • Some slight bleeding is normal for a day or so.
  • Some pain is normal. Your dentist will advise you how to manage this.
  • Some swelling and bruising is normal for a few days.
  • Some difficulty in opening your mouth wide is common for a few days.

What do I need to do and what do I need to avoid ?

  • Do not disturb the area of the surgery and don’t rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours.
  • Don’t have anything hot to eat or drink while you are numb. You may burn yourself.
  • Be careful not to accidentally bite your lip, tongue or cheek.
  • It is easy to do damage when you can’t feel the area properly.
  • Avoid hot or fizzy drinks for a day they can dislodge the blood clot that is forming over the wound and delay healing.
  • Most people find it easier to stick to soft foods at first.
  • It is important to drink plenty of water.
  • After 24 hours you can start to rinse gently with warm salty water.
  • (dissolve a teaspoon of kitchen salt in a cup of warm water) or with a mouthwash if your dentist has recommended one.
  • Brush your teeth but avoid the area of the surgery until it is comfortable.
  • Keep your mouth as clean as possible this will help healing.
  • NO SMOKING.Smoking interferes with healing. The action of inhaling may also make bleeding start again.You should avoid smoking for several days.

When will I be back to normal?

  • In most cases the gum will heal in 7-10 days.The bone underneath will take longer to heal often three months or more but you will not usually feel this happening.
  • Swelling will be at its worst on the second or third day. Most swelling should have disappeared within a week or two. With swelling, you may also have some difficulty in opening your mouth wide, but this also generally returns to normal within a week or two.
  • Any stitches you have will usually fall out by themselves in 10 -14 days. If they need to be removed your dentist will give you another appointment.
  • You may need to take time off. Your dentist will advise you about this.

Detailed advice on what to do for Bleeding, Pain and Swelling

To control bleeding

A little bleeding is common in the first 24 hours. This is usually easily controlled by biting down on gauze pads which you will be given to take home. If there is bleeding, you should dampen the gauze, roll it up and bite down on it for 15 minutes before you check the area. This may need to be repeated.

To control pain

Taking a painkiller regularly in order to keep pain at bay is much more effective than waiting until the pain is severe. If you have not been given a prescription then take regular paracetamol according to the instructions on the packet. If your pain is more severe then you can combine the paracetamol with ibuprofen (if you are able to take it never take more than the recommended dose of any painkiller). You should take the first dose of your painkiller before the numbness wears off.

To minimise swelling

Regular anti-inflammatory painkillers (for example, ibuprofen) will help to keep the swelling down. An icepack can be used in the first 24hours.Make sure it is wrapped up (for example in a small towel) and apply it to your face for 15 minutes at a time every few hours.

Dry socket

Sometimes a socket ,where the tooth was becomes more painful 2-3 days after an extraction. This is usually because you have a dry socket. Dry sockets are more common in people who smoke and in women who take the oral contraceptive pill. If you get a dry socket you need to see a dentist who will put a dressing in the socket to reduce the pain.

Silver Fillings

  • Eat a softer diet for the next 24 hrs.
  • Chew food on the opposite side of where dental work was completed.
  • Brush and Floss the area as usual.
  • Call our office if you have any questions.

Tooth-Colored Restoration

  • No restrictions on diet.
  • Brush and Floss the area as usual.
  • Call our office if you have any questions.

Temporary Crowns

  • Chew normal foods, but avoid sticky items like caramels , gum, etc.
  • Gum tissue may be sensitive around the temporary, so brush around the area gently. You may want to rinse and swish with warm salt water to help heal the area.
  • If the temporary does come off for any reason, please call and we will re-cement it back on, or make a new one if it is lost.
  • If the temporary crown falls off over the weekend, adding a dab of toothpaste to the inside of the crown and placing it back on the tooth (apply pressure for 5 minutes), should help you get by until being seen.
  • Call our office if you have any questions.

Permanent Crown

  • Brush and floss as usual.
  • No restrictions on eating and chewing.
  • Call our office if you have any questions.

Root Canal Treatment

  • Protect the tooth as soon as possible after the root canal with a crown, so the tooth doesn’t fracture and the tooth is lost.
  • Eat a softer diet for the next 24 hrs. A Root canal treated tooth is weaker and more brittle due to the large damage to the tooth and treatment, and it should not be used to chew strongly on until it has a crown.
  • Expect tenderness/soreness for 24 to 48 hours during initial healing.
  • Brush and floss as usual.
  • Call our office if you have any pain questions.