POST-OPERATIVE CARE AFTER TOOTH EXTRACTION
1.Continue to bite on two pieces of folded gauze at the extraction site. Initially you have to change the gauze every 5-10 minutes. As bleeding slows down , you don’t have to change the gauze as often, about one hour. If you run out of gauze supplies, use a tea bag instead. Place the tea bag in the hot water to sterilize it , then remove it and wait until it is cold. Place the tea bag over the extraction site and gently bite.
2.Keep fingers and other objects away from the extraction site.
3.Do not rinse out your mouth or spit today as that may cause more bleeding (7-8 hours). Do not use straws to drink. The sucking action will dislodge a healing clot that is trying to form.
4.Keep ice pack, frozen gel-pack, or a frozen bag of peas on your face close to the extraction site intermittently. Place it for 20 minutes, then remove it for 20 minutes, this way the blood supply to the area will not be cut out.
5.Avoid drinking hot beverage, and hot food (coffee, tea, soup) at least until the bleeding completely stopped. Let the beverage/food cool before eating today. On the day of surgery most people find cool soft foods (ice cream, yogurt) soothing.
6.Cold or lukewarm liquids may be taken for the first 4-6 hours. After this any soft food is permissible. Avoid food with sharp edges such as chips, crackers, and toast for the next week.
7.Avoid smoking for at least 12 hours. Be aware that smoking after 12 hours also may increase the chance of infection and bleeding.
8.Starting tomorrow, rinse your mouth frequently with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Continue to rinse for a week.
9.An irrigation syringe will be given to all patients to irrigate the extraction site thoroughly. Use this tool a least one day after the surgery. Fill the syringe with a warm salt water solution by placing the tip in the solution and pulling back on the plunger. Place the plastic tip of the syringe gently next to the extraction site and press the plunger to gently flush out the wound area to free it from any food debris and bacteria.
10.Some patients will be given a prescription-strength mouth rinse. It should be use twice a day in addition to the saltwater. Some rinses such as one that contains Chlorhexidine may stain the teeth, but this is temporary and can be removed by the dental office.
11. It is normal for the saliva to be streaked with blood for a day. If continuous bleeding is present, fold sterile gauze into a firm wad or use a lukewarm tea bag and place it directly on the bleeding area. Maintain firm pressure by biting for 20 minutes. The tannic acid in tea has a clotting effect and will help to control the bleeding.
12. Swelling and discolouration is to be expected in certain areas, usually reaching its maximum two days after surgery. It will disappear gradually and is no cause for concern. Intermittent use of ice pads can reduce the chance of swelling. You may find your cheeks feeling sore also. The muscles in the mouth that are not usually retracted may feel sore as they were moved in directions they are not used to. This should settle in a couple of days.
13. If you have been given a prescription for antibiotics you will need to complete the entire course of medication that has been prescribed to minimize the chance for Infection.
14. Start pain relievers BEFORE your anesthesia wears off. Unless otherwise specified, start with Ibuprofen 400 mg (two 200 mg tablets) every 4-6 hours for adults. Follow the appropriate instructions, if a prescription strength pain reliever is given.
15. Avoid drinking alcohol or driving if taking prescription pain medication.
16. The next day after extraction begin gentle rinsing with the prescription rinse, if given two times per day (after breakfast, and before bedtime) as directed on the bottle. You also should continue to rinse with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. salt to 8oz. glass of water) between the prescription rinses for the next two weeks.
17.Avoid vigorous exercise and excessive talking for the next 3 days.
18. If stitches are used, most may not dissolve on their own and must be removed at your follow-up appointment. If you did not book one please call and book one for one week later. Never pull at loose stitches or attempt to remove them yourself.
19. Most post-surgical pain will improve by the third day. If pain or swelling is increasing on the fourth day or later after the surgery, call the office (604-985-7032) to speak with our staff or with Dr. Chehroudi. An emergency contact will be on the answering machine in the event our office is closed. You may have to come in for a follow up visit ASAP.