Sometimes a tooth cannot be restored.

Care after an extraction

Your dentist will use an anesthetic during your procedure to ensure your comfort. Your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after your appointment.

  • Do not rinse the mouth for 24 hours.
  • Avoid chewing until the numbness wears off. We do not want you unknowingly chew on the inside of your cheek, lip or tongue. Some discomfort after the extraction is normal. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, is usually sufficient. If we gave you a prescription for a stronger pain medication, take as directed. You can also decrease pain by applying an ice pack (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) for the first six hours following the extraction. Bags of frozen peas work particularly well.
  • Immediately the following procedure, keep a steady pressure on the extraction site. Gently remove the compress after 30 minutes. If bleeding persists, place another clean gauze pad or wet tea bag on the site and keep steady pressure on the area for an additional hour. Some oozing of blood may persist for up to 24 hours after surgery. After oozing has stopped, gently resume oral hygiene.
  • A blood clot will form on the extraction site, and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep this clot intact, keep fingers and tongue away from the surgical area. Do not smoke, spit, blow your nose, sneeze, or rinse your mouth the day of surgery. Drink plenty of fluids ( but do NOT use a straw). Relax as much as possible, avoid all strenuous activities for at least the first 24 hours.
  • Swelling can start after a tooth has been removed but it is no cause for concern.  Use a bag of frozen peas or a towel filled with ice against the area for 5 minutes on and ten minutes off for an hour.
  • Twenty-four hours after surgery, rinse mouth gently with a salt water solution (one teaspoon salt in a cup of very warm water). Gently swish the solution around the affected area and spit carefully, so as not to dislodge the forming clot. You should do this 2 or 3 times daily for a week following the extraction. You can also resume your normal tooth brushing, careful to avoid the surgical site.
  • A light diet is recommended during the first 24 hours.  Avoid spicy foods and seeds.
  • If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them as prescribed, even if all symptoms of infection are gone.
  • If sutures were placed, you would be instructed if they will dissolve on their own, or if you need to return to have them removed.
  • It is common after an extraction to feel hard projections in the mouth.  These are bony partitions that surround the root of a tooth.  In most cases they will work themselves out.
  • If you should experience excessive bleeding, pain, fever or difficulty opening your mouth, call our office immediately 973-598-9555.

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