After Tooth Extraction

Home Instructions After the Removal of a Single Tooth

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After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately 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 to stop the flow of blood.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this increases 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.

You should begin taking the ibuprofen (if prescribed) and the over the counter acetaminophen or Tylenol (not prescribed) before the numbing or local anesthesia wears off and you feel okay swallowing.  This typically will be within 2-4 hours after the surgery. We typically have patients take 600mg-800mg every 6-8 hours at the same time as 1-2 tabs of OTC (over the counter) extra strength acetaminophen (Tylenol).  Studies have shown taking ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) concurrently with acetaminophen (Tylenol) works better than rotating them or staggering the doses.  We also recommend taking the Ultram or Tramadol (if prescribed) with the ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and Tylenol if needed.  If you elected to take OTC ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) it comes in 200mg tablets.  You can take three to four OTC tablets of ibuprofen if you elected to not fill your prescription.

Do not exceed 3200mg daily for ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) for an adult.  Do not exceed 3000 mg daily of acetaminophen (Tylenol) for an adult.

For our pediatric patients please follow the instructions on the bottle as prescribed or the over the counter instructions if not given a prescription.

For our patients that elected to have the Exparel (long acting local anesthesia) injections you will hopefully have great pain relief for 2-4 days at the surgical sites.  This does not mean no pain, as some discomfort is still normal.  Please take the ibuprofen and Tylenol as needed and as explained above.

Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. Use pain medication as directed. Call our 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 fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.