What are the follow-up procedures after a tooth extraction? | Dental Treatment Guide




The simplest extractions do not cause bothersome discomfort after the operation. You may want to take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID like Ibuprofen, Advil, and Motrin for a couple of days. You may not need to take any painkillers anymore.

Since surgical extractions are more complex, they will cause more pain than usual extractions. The level of discomfort and the length of the discomfort depend on how complex and difficult the surgery was. Your dentist may prescribe some painkillers for a couple of days and suggest some NSAID. Most of the pain will go away after a few days.

Cuts in the mouth usually bleed more than cuts on the skin since they are unable to dry out and scab. After the extraction, you will be asked to bite on a piece of gauze for half an hour. This will put pressure on the area so that blood will clot. It may still bleed a little for the next twenty four hours and will eventually taper off afterwards. You should not disturb the clot that forms on the wound.

You can put ice packs on your face in order to minimize the swelling after the surgery. If your jaw is still sore and stiff after the swelling goes away then you should use a warm compress instead. You should eat soft foods and cold foods for the first week until you feel comfortable to eat other foods. You should gently rinse the area with warm saltwater after twenty four hours from the surgery in order to keep the area clean. The solution will be made of one half teaspoon of salt and one cup of water. Most of the swelling and bleeding will end within a day or two after the surgery while the initial healing will take around two weeks.

If you have stitches then they should dissolve in around one to two weeks. Rinsing with warm saltwater will help in dissolving these stitches. Some of the stitches may have to be removed by the dentist or the oral surgeon. You should avoid smoking, using a straw, and spitting after the operation because these actions may pull out the blood clot. This will cause dry socket and more bleeding which happens in about three to four percent of extractions. Dry socket happens twenty to thirty percent of the time especially when impacted teeth are extracted. It happens more often with smokers, with women taking birth control pills, and in difficult extractions.

Further Information about Teeth Extraction