Extractions

Anesthetic

  • If an anesthetic was administered for your treatment, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment.  Avoid any chewing and hot foods or liquids until the numbness has completely worn off.  It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb.
  • It is recommended that you take some Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) before the anesthetic completely wears off.  This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where your anesthetic was administered. 

 
Bleeding
  • After an extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
  • After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 24 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and slow the healing process.
  • Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
  • Avoid smoking for at least 4 days.  This is very important, since nicotine will penetrate the socket and cause an infection called dry socket, which is very painful and requires additional treatment. If you do need to smoke, please cover the extraction site with gauze.  When done smoking, remove the gauze and replace it with clean gauze.
  • Avoid alcohol for 4 days.  Alcohol is a blood thinner, which will prevent the blood from clotting and will slow the healing process.
 
Pain & Discomfort
  • After the procedure you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas to the area for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for 4 hours.
  • Take pain medications as prescribed. Do not take medications that you are allergic to.  If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone.
  • If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, please call our office immediately. 
  • Occasionally, small sharp fragments of bone may work through the gum tissue during the healing process. This is more common after multiple extractions and is nature’s way of reshaping the ridge. This process of “shedding” slivers of bone may last anywhere from one to four months.
  • Stiffness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth. This will usually resolve within a few days.
 
Diet
  • Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. Avoid foods and drinks that are hot in temperature for 24 hours. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
 
Oral Hygiene
  • It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
  • After 24 hours, rinse with warm salt water (1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of warm water) 2-3 times a day.
  • Some extractions require stitches that dissolve on their own within a week.  If you do have stitches, avoid vigorous rinsing and flossing in that area until the stitches have dissolved. Some stitches may feel long or hard, but will start to soften and dissolve within 24 hours.
 
Activities
  • After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities.
 
Follow Up Treatment
  • The success of your treatment depends on keeping all of your scheduled appointments and maintaining your home care as explained by your Dentist. 
  • If you had a Bone Grafting procedure done today, please return in one month for removal of the collagen membrane and stitches.

 
Following most dental procedures there may or may not be pain, depending on the patient’s threshold of pain.  You will be provided with a prescription for appropriate medication for discomfort.  In most cases, a non-narcotic pain regimen will be given consisting of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin).  If a narcotic has been prescribed, follow the directions carefully.  If you have any questions about these medications interacting with other medications you are presently taking, please call our office, your physician and/or your pharmacist.

IF FOR ANY REASON YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CONDITION, NOTIFY DR MORRIS OR A MEMBER OF OUR OFFICE STAFF BY CALLING OUR OFFICE AT (780) 790-0088.  For emergencies after hours, please call Northern Lights Regional Health Centre at  (780) 791-6161