The initial healing period typically takes from one to two weeks, gum tissue takes about 3-4 weeks to heal and complete healing of the bone can take about 6-8 months depending on your care of this area. As your mouth heals, you can promote faster healing and avoid complications by simply following these instructions.
DO NOT DISTURB THE WOUND: The healing process begins immediately aftersurgery as your body sends blood to nourish the tooth socket. Keep your fingers and tongue away from this area.
DO NOT SMOKE for 72 hr : because smoke can interfere with the healing process, promote bleeding and can cause a very painful situation know as "dry socket". Continuing to smoke during these first few days will slow healing and soft tissue will not be able to begin to fill in the socket to form the blood clot needed for healing.
BRUSHING: Do not directly brush the extraction site for the first 4 days after surgery to prevent dislodging of the blood clot from the socket. Don't use any toothpaste. After this time you may carefully brush your teeth around this area and floss gently.
MOUTHWASH: Avoid all rinsing for 24 hours after extraction. After the first 24 hours you should VERY GENTLY RINSE this area 4 times a day using warm salt water (1 tablespoon salt in glass of warm water). Rinse very gently after every meal and snack, making sure that the water reaches the extraction site. Rinsing removes food particles and debris from the socket to help promote healing.
DO NOT SPIT OR SUCK THROUGH A STRAW: This will promote bleeding BLEEDING: When you leave the office, A gauze pad will be placed on the extraction site that you are asked to keep firm pressure on. You will also be asked to change this dressing every 30 to 40 minutes or so depending on the amount of bleeding that is occurring. The gauze should be dampened before placing them over the surgical site.Change gauze only 3-4 times so as not to remove the blood clot. Do not chew on the pack. It is normal for some blood to ooze from the area of surgery for 12 hours. We will also give you a package of gauze to take with you to use at home if the bleeding should continue. Should you need to use the gauze at home, remember fold the clean gauze into a pad, thick enough to bite on. Than moisten it and place it directly on the extraction site. Hold it firmly in place, by biting down on the gauze pad or use finger pressure, forabout 30-60 minutes. This pressure helps reduce bleeding and permits a clot to form in the tooth socket. If bleeding still continues, moisten a tea bag with water and wrap it in gauze and fold it in half and bite down on it for 30 minutes. Tea contains Tannic Acid which may help to reduce the bleeding. Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. Use a towel on the pillow the first night, MEDICATIONS: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. Analgesic tablets i.e. Panadol, nurofen or non-aspirin can be taken (2) every four hours as needed or as directed by Dentist. If antibiotics are prescribed you should carefully follow the instructions and finish the antibiotics until they are completely gone. Avoid aspirin as it may increase bleeding. A side effect of aspirin is it can increase bleeding by inhibiting blood clotting making it unsuitable following extractions. To avoid nausea do not take pain medications on an empty stomach.
SWELLING: To prevent swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the area of the extraction during the first 12 to 24 hours. Apply alternately, 10-20 minutes on then 10-20 minutes off, for an 6 hour or longer if necessary. Ice is the best restriction to excessive swelling. The more ice, the less swelling. After 24 hours, ice will not stop swelling Salt water rinses after 24 hours. DIET: For the first 24-48 hours, you should maintain a diet of soft foods, such as Jell-O, pudding, yogurt, cream of wheat, mashed potatoes, clear soups, etc. Avoid crumbly,hot spicy foods, carbonated and hot beverages for 3-4 days. Eating immediately following the procedure is not recommended. When the numbness has worn off you may eat yet be sure to chew on the opposite side for the first 24 hours in order to keep food away from the extraction site. Cut food into small pieces to ease chewing. Return to a normal diet as tolerated ACTIVITY: For the first 24 hours, your activity should be limited because increased activity can lead to increased bleeding. No bending over or heavy lifting for 2-3 days. Do not play any wind instruments or blow up balloons for a period of 10-14 days. When lying down elevate your head slightly. Please be aware that you may get quite severe bleeds intra-orally following extractions from flying and recreational diving. This condition can be caused by barotrauma for up to a month after the surgery* DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL for 48 hours after surgery.
PAIN-that lasts for up to a week or so but is gradually improving should be considered typical. Pain that seems to be getting worse after two days should be considered abnormal and may require an evaluation by us. After 24 hours, applications of heat over the surgical area may help.
ANESTHESIA WARNING: While your mouth is numb, it will feel "funny". During this period you must be careful not to bite, chew, pinch and/or scratch this area which can lead to serious soft tissue trauma.
LONG TERM PROBLEMS: You may have a numb, tingling feeling in the area for 4-6 weeks or longer. Having a missing tooth can lead to several problems such as shifting teeth, difficulty chewing and malocclusion which could lead to TMJ problems. This area will need to be restored with a fixed bridge, implant, a removable partial or a denture to insure good long-term dental health.
FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT: You are required to make a post-op appointment in one week to check on the healing of this area. If sutures were placed they will be removed at this time. There is no charge for such appointment.


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