Post-Op Instructions


The length of time you experience numbness varies depending on the type of anesthetic you received. While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite your cheek, lip, or tongue. The numbness should subside within a few hours. Drowsiness may persist for several hours following sedation; this is normal. Be aware that pain control prescriptions also cause drowsiness. If you are drowsy, DO NOT operate any vehicle, device, or machinery.


Your dentist will place a gauze pack in the extraction site to limit bleeding and confine the blood while clotting takes place. Remain biting on the gauze for 20 minutes. DO NOT chew on the gauze as this will increase bleeding. A small amount of bleeding is normal. If concerned, you may replace the gauze but make sure to dampen it with water first. Make sure to maintain biting pressure for 20 minutes. If the bleeding continues after the above measures, soak a tea bag then wrap it in gauze and place firmly over the area of bleeding. On top of this, place gauze and apply pressure by closing the teeth together. It will help to lie down or sleep with your head elevated above your heart with the use of a few pillows. DO NOT suck thick liquids through a straw for 2 days as this may dislodge the clot. If bleeding is excessive during the night and you are concerned, please call the office at the phone number listed above. If unable to contact the office or Doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency room for treatment. (Remember that a lot of saliva and a little blood can LOOK like a lot of blood).


Facial swelling is normal following most extractions. You can help reduce the swelling and pain by applying cold compresses to the face for twenty (20) minutes and five (5) minutes off for the first 24 hours. Remember to sit with your head elevated and sleep with 2-3 pillows. After the 3rd day is when swelling usually starts to decline. At this point if there is any residual swelling, apply moist heat compresses to the face.


It is OK to rinse your mouth with warm salt water or mouthwash. You can also brush your teeth. Avoid brushing over the extraction sites for the first 3 days. Rinsing is important after each meal to keep food particles out of the extraction sites. If you are unable to rinse the food particles out of the wound, use the syringe provided by the office at your follow up procedure.


A good diet is essential following surgery. Initially soft foods are recommended. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible. Fluid intake following surgery should be increased with emphasis on water and fruit juices.


DO NOT smoke or drink alcoholic beverages for at least (3) days following your surgery. Smoking will decrease the healing process and is the major cause of dry sockets.

Other possible side effects

There may be a slight elevation in temperature for 24-48 hours. If the temperature continues, contact the office. Your other teeth may ache temporarily (sympathetic pain). Any stiffness of the jaw can be treated with the use of warm compresses and massage of the jaw.


If following surgery you feel the need for emergency treatment, please (1) come to the office if it is during normal business hours, (2) if the office is closed, call the office to get the emergency number and (3) if unable to reach the above contacts, go to the nearest hospital emergency room/ Urgent Care clinic for treatment.

ADVISORY: If you had sedation for your procedure, it is recommended to have adult supervision for 24 hours.