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Post- op instructions after tooth extraction

Day of surgery

  • Bite on a gauze pad firmly for 30 minutes. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded into a bin. Some slight bleeding and oozing is normal from the extraction site, and it not necessary to replace the gauze unless there is active bleeding. If bleeding recurs, bite on a gauze pad (sterile gauze will be provided) with firm pressure for 30 minutes. Where significant bleeding continues, contact your dentist or local hospital

  • Don’t rinse, spit or suck through a straw for 24 hours

  • Avoid HOT food or liquids and sharp foods for the first day. Avoid eating/chewing while you are still numb (could be 3 to 6 hours). When numbness has gone, eat a soft diet and chew away from the wound

  • Take painkillers (e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen, every 6 hours) immediately after treatment, then as required. Avoid aspirin. We recommend taking painkillers before the local anaesthetic wears off. If there is a high level of pain, alternating between 2 tablets of ibuprofen (400mg) and 2 tablets of paracetamol (1000mg) with 3 hours in between. Daily maximum is 3200mg for ibuprofen and 4000mg for paracetamol

  • Brush your teeth as normal, but be very gentle around the extraction area. Remember to rinse gently

  • Avoid strenuous exercise for the first 2 days and if pain is intense, rest with the head raised. Avoid prolonged hot water to the head when showering

  • Some people find it helpful to apply an ice pack on the face to reduce pain and swelling. Wrap an ice pack in a tea towel then apply to face. Maximum of 20 minutes of contact with ice pack, and then 20 minutes off to reduce thermal injury

Days following surgery

  • After 24 hours, rinse very gently with salt water 3 to 5 times per day for a week. Use about one teaspoon of salt dissolved completely in a glass (about 250ml) of lukewarm water

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking for at least 2 days to avoid dry socket

  • Sharp edges may be felt in the surgical areas and is most likely the bony walls which supported the tooth. Occasionally, small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the clinic

Please call us if you have any of the following:

  • Heavy or increased bleeding

  • Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days

  • Fever

  • A bad taste or odour in your mouth

  • A reaction to the medication

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