Post Op Care for Dental Extractions

Care for your recent dental extraction : 


1.  Extraction sites are going to be sore.  This is normal.  There is no way around it and someone to tell you otherwise is fibbing.   Upper sites are typically a little less sore than lower sites.  Lower extractions are going to be sore typically.   Usually the pain is rated as a 3 or 4 out of 10 for a few days after.   Lower teeth, expecially molas are sometimes a little sore for a week or two.   We take every modern approach to ensure that you are as sore as little as possible. 

2.  Gauze Pressure:  We advise that you stay biting on gauze for a solid 4 hours after an extraction, maybe even longer.  Usually you take 2 pieces of gauze, fold them over both directions into a cube, and stay biting on it.   This helps give the socket area pressure and is needed to help a clot stabilize.

3.  ICE ICE ICE, and more ICE:  We recommend ice pressure to the outside of the cheek up to 48 hours after an extraction.   We advise 20 minutes of ice, and 20 minutes left alone.  You can put ice cubes into a ziplock bag, or alternate bags of frozen vegetables.  Ice helps swelling stay minimal. 

4. Bleeding and Swelling:  You extraction socket heals in three dimensions, not just on the surface like a scape.  This takes time for the fibrin and clotting factors to mature and stabilize he clot.  Also in the mouth, you have saliva glands that mix with the clot and makes the volume of blood to appear much greater than it is.  I usually say that a clot in the mouth takes a good 24 hours to stabilize, they stay 'juicey' for a while.   Swelling is greatest the second and third day after an extraction.  Ice always helps reduce swelling. 

5.  Diet restrictions:  Yes there are restrictions.  I recommend a soft diet for three days, and then make sure chewing is on the other side of the mouth for a few weeks.  You want to take care of not packing food into the recent site.  Importantly, DO NOT DRINK THOUGH A STRAW.  Patients ask us this frequently as the negative pressure can disrupt the clot.  Drink from a cup, or with a spoon. 

6.  Medication for pain, and antibiotics: Most extractions feel much better after a dosage of 800mg Motrin.  Advil, Motrin, and Ibuprofen are all the same thing.  We recommend 600mg or 800mg which are prescriptions.   We do not routinely write for narcotics, but we will when needed.  We also try to avoid antibiotics as much as possible.   However with dental infections that have spread systemically, they may be indicated. 

7.  Rinsing, but not at first!:  We recommend that you do not rinse the extraction socket for at least a day.  Do not use listerine for 3 days.   This helps the socket heal.  Lukewarm saltwater rinses starting the second day help keep the socket clean, and promote healing. 

8.  Above all, use common sense and try to leave the area alone.  Please contact me if there are any issues. 

Stephen Kuzmak, DDS

Towson View Dental Care

7600 Osler Drive, Suite 303

Towson, MD 21204

office: 410-296-2388

cell (if you need to reach me) 443-827-7962