Post Tooth Extraction Instructions

Post Tooth Extraction Instructions

Your teeth can last a lifetime if you take extra good care of them. However, At OG Dental, we understand that's not always the case. Severe tooth decay can make it hard to keep your natural teeth, and our Denver Highlands dentists will always do our best to save your tooth. If we think you'd be better off getting dental implants or dentures, we'll likely recommend a tooth extraction.

Once the tooth is extracted by our Denver Highlands dentists, you'll need to take good care of your extraction site to make sure it heals properly. The following discusses post-tooth extraction instructions. 

Aftercare of Tooth Extraction

It takes roughly 7 to 10 days to heal from a tooth extraction, and the time frame may vary depending on the type of extraction and the location of the extracted tooth. Bleeding at the site is natural, and it may continue for several hours after the surgery. Blood-tinged or pink saliva may be present and will persist for 2-3 days after the surgery. 

Dr. O'Grady says that the best you can do is apply pressure to the wound by folding two pieces of damp gauze over the extraction site. Rest with your head elevated and gently bite down on the gauze for 30-60 minutes, making sure pressure is being applied to the extraction site. Use gauze for an additional 30 minutes if the bleeding continues.

You will undoubtedly experience some pain and discomfort, and our same day dentists in Denver Highlands recommend taking medications like ibuprofen before the local anesthetic wears off. If the pain is more severe, you may be prescribed narcotic pain meds. However, note that you should not drive or operate heavy machinery while on narcotic pain meds, as they will make you drowsy.

Alternate the narcotics and ibuprofen or Tylenol as prescribed, and once you feel the pain has reduced in intensity, you can limit your pain management to ibuprofen or Tylenol. If the pain doesn't subside daily, please call your dentist at OG Dental Group.

Swelling may also occur at the extraction site, which is completely normal. You can count on it to start a day after surgery. Dr. David Moghadam, an emergency dentist in Easton, says that the swelling will peak in two to three days. It may even persist for seven to ten days. To minimize swelling in the first 24 hours after surgery, apply an ice pack to the outside of the cheek for 10 minutes at a time. Leaving an ice pack on too long can result in tissue damage. After 48 hours, you can use a warm, moist compress.

How to Avoid Dry Socket

Once a tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the empty socket. This clot covers and protects the underlying bone and nerves, and if it is dislodged or dissolved before the wound is healed, the sensitive bone and nerves will be exposed to the elements. This results in constant pain that radiates to the ear, jaw, and other teeth. Symptoms of dry socket usually occur around the fifth to seventh day after the extraction.

To prevent dry socket, avoid spitting, sucking on the wound, or vigorous rinsing. Avoid physical activity the first 24 hours after the surgery and keep it light for two to three days after the procedure. After one day, you can gently rinse out your mouth with a dilute mouth rinse of your choice. Smoking is also known to cause dry socket, so avoid cigarettes, cigars, and any other type of tobacco.

About 2% to 5% of people who have a tooth extracted end up with a dry socket, and if this happens to you, contact an emergency dentist in Denver Highlands as soon as possible. The dentist will clean the tooth socket, remove any debris from the hole, and pack it with a medicated dressing or special paste to promote healing. You may have to visit the dentist every few days for a dressing change until the extraction site starts to heal.

To reduce the risk of infection, and promote healing, stay on top of your oral hygiene routine. Thoroughly clean your mouth after every meal with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Don't forget to floss too, but avoid the extraction site while you floss and brush your teeth. Tooth extractions take around 7-10 days to heal, and taking proper care of the wound will promote healing. If you suspect that anything is wrong, contact OG Dental immediately, and our experienced team will address the issue immediately.