Patient Instructions Following Extractions

Proper care of the mouth following dental surgery can reduce complications and speed healing. Please follow the instructions given below. If you have any questions or experience severe pain, swelling, or bleeding please call our office at (863) 682-1500.

SWELLING

To minimize the swelling that is often associated with dental surgery, gently apply ice packs to the cheek side of the surgical area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. (We have found that frozen bagged peas or frozen bagged corn works great!) This should be done for the first 24 hours immediately following your surgery. Discontinue the ice packs after 24 hours. Once you see the swelling start to subside, (usually 72 hours after the surgery) heat can be applied for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to speed your recovery.

BLEEDING

You will have a piece of sterile gauze over the extraction site which should be removed when you get home. Evaluate the extraction area for continued bleeding. If so, tie a knot in the unfolded guaze and place it over the extraction area. Apply pressure by biting down on the knot for 20 – 30 minutes or until bleeding stops. If bleeding is persistent or becomes heavy, a moistened tea bag can be used in place of the guaze. Should the bleeding remain uncontrolled and you have tried the guaze and the tea bag methods, please call our office at 863-682-1500.

MOUTH RINSES

After 24 hours, it is important that you gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt mixed with 8 ounces of warm water) Do this as often as you like but at least after each meal and before bedtime. Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential!

EATING

Adequate food and fluid intake following the surgery is very important. Proper nutrition is important for prompt healing. If you find that it is too difficult to chew solid foods, you may supplement your diet with a high quality, nutritional meal replacement drink such as Carnation Instant Breakfast. Avoid crunchy foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, or popcorn as they tend to have small particles that can get into the socket areas. You can progress to solid foods at your own pace.

REST AND CARE

Resting is the most important thing you can do for optimal healing. Avoid all excessive activity. Don’t pick at the surgical area. No forceful spitting, drinking through a straw, or smoking for 7 days. If a suture was placed, we will give you an appointment to check the surgical area for healing and remove the suture. Do not attempt to pick at the suture or remove it yourself.

MEDICATION

Dr. Agnini may give you a prescription(s) for medication. Follow the instructions on bottle label. If you prefer over-the-counter medication for pain and post-operative inflammation, you can take 2 tablets (200mg each) ibuprofen (Advil®) every 4 hours as needed. If you were given prescription pain medication (Lortab or Tylenol with Hydrocodone), you can take one of these tablets between the 4 hour intervals of ibuprofen, if needed. If you are unable to take ibuprofen, please let us know and you will be given alternate instructions.

DRY SOCKETS

A “dry socket” usually occurs on the 3rd to 5th day following the extraction and is a result of loss of blood clot within the tooth socket. Symptoms of a dry socket are steady, throbbing pain that radiates along the jaw or toward the ear and will often cause other teeth to ache. If these symptoms arise, please call our office