Post-Op Instructions: Extractions

May 02, 2021 | Post-Op Instructions


After having a tooth extraction, there are some things you must do on your own to ensure the extraction site heals well in a timely manner. 
  • In order for your body to heal well, you should minimize your activity for a period of time after having an extraction. Your dentist will recommend the appropriate time period to you.
  • As your body heals, a blood clot will form within the extraction socket. This blood clot will eventually turn into bone and must be kept in place if possible. Until the area has healed over, there is a risk that certain activities can disturb the blood clot, hurt the extraction site and slow down the healing process.
  • The basic considerations after having a tooth extracted are as follows: 
    • Do not disturb the wound. Stay away from brushing the area for the first few days to prevent disruption of the blood clot.
    • Do not use tobacco products for a week following a tooth extraction. This can impede the healing process and can result in a dry socket.
    • Do not spit or suck through a straw as this may disrupt the blood clot.
    • Cold packs applied to the outside of the face in the surgical area may help to reduce swelling during the first few days after your extraction.
    • Keep direct pressure on the surgical site using sterilized gauze for 1-3 hours following a tooth extraction. Change the gauze every 20-30 minutes. This will help in reducing the bleeding and allowing a blood clot to form.
    • Take medication for pain following a tooth extraction; some discomfort following the procedure is normal. Prescribed medications for pain or infection should be taken as directed by your dentist. 
      • The ideal pain management following a tooth extraction is a combination of ibuprofen (600mg) and acetaminophen (500mg) every 6-8 hours for the first 2-3 days. 
    • For the first 24-48 hours a soft food diet should be maintained. Avoid any chewing in the area that has had the tooth removed. This will help decrease irritation to the area and prevent potential bleeding, swelling or infection.
    • Maintain a very low activity level for the first few days following a tooth extraction to prevent continued bleeding. Heavy lifting and deep bending should be avoided.
    • Allow yourself a few moments to steady and find your balance before sitting or standing, as dizziness may occur in the first few days following an extraction.
  • If after a few days following your extraction pain and swelling fail to resolve or they increase in severity, you must be seen by your dental or medical professional.

Patient Information provided courtesy of the Kois Center