Post Surgery Instructions from Primary Dental Care

After an Extraction, it’s important for follow post surgery instructions from your dentist or oral surgeon. Post surgery instructions are designed to ensure that your mouth heals quickly and properly. Not following instructions can lead to pain, infection, and more visits to the dentist.

Put Pressure on the Wound

When you have a tooth extracted, you’ve undergone a medical procedure that has left you with a wound. It’s important to keep bleeding to a minimum and to allow the blood to clot. Clotting is the body’s way of creating a natural barrier between the vulnerable tooth socket and the outside world, which is filled with bacteria.

Use gauze pads to place gentle but firm pressure on the wound. The pressure should be applied for about two to four hours after the procedure. Make sure you place the gauze in the space between the teeth bordering the wound. Bite on the gauze to create pressure. A cold compress or an ice pack can also help stem the flow of blood.

Soft Diet Only

For about 48 hours after the procedure your post surgery instructions will include a soft diet. Although you may want to eat food that you normally would, and you think that you won’t hurt anything by chewing on the side away from the extraction, the fact is it is impossible to contain food particles to a specific area of your mouth. Even small particles can cause problems. Stick to a soft diet that will allow the wound to heal.

Take Pain Medication

At Primary Dental Care, our post surgery instructions always include the taking of some form of pain medication. Usually, we suggest an over-the-counter painkiller, but in certain circumstances we will write a prescription for a pain medicine. Take painkillers as needed for 24 to 48 hours after the extraction. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic to fight any possible infection. Use as prescribed, finishing all of the medicine.

Keep the Area Undisturbed

It is very important to make sure that the wound remains undisturbed. Any type of incursion can affect blood clotting. Thus, along with not eating solid food, you also want to stay away from the following: brushing the area, sucking on a straw, and spitting. All of these activities can cause the clotted blood to loosen, opening the wound to air, food, liquid, and all sorts of bacteria. The result can be a very painful condition called dry socket.

Dry Socket

Even if you follow all post surgery instructions perfectly, you may still experience complications, including dry socket. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that seals the wound from outside bacteria is opened and becomes infected. The infection, which is very painful, can cause swelling and fever. If you do experience dry socket, call your dentist immediately. Your practitioner will clean out the wound and prescribe a pain medication and an antibiotic. Dry socket usually last five to six days.

When To Be Concerned

If bleeding continues for five to six hours, you develop a fever, or experience extreme pain, then call your dentist. Although post surgery instructions are designed to help defray any possible complications after a tooth extraction, the fact is you can still suffer from ill effects even if you follow each and every instruction. For more information on post surgery instructions, tooth extractions, and other dental concerns call Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove, California, at 714-537-5700.