After Tooth Extraction

Home Instructions After the Removal of a Single Tooth

After tooth 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 gauze pads for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, make another gauze pack by folding two pieces of gauze together twice to make a small 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, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard 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.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

Sutures (stitches) are typically placed at the extraction site to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Most sutures will soften and fall out on their own within one week after surgery. Our office will schedule you a brief follow-up visit in one week to check that you are healing well and that the sutures have fallen out.

A few days after your extraction, you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling, or a reaction to the medication, call the office immediately at (415) 392-3122 or (415) 422-0985.