Instructions Following Dental Extractions
(Including following Wisdom Tooth Extractions)

  • Gauze Pressure: Immediately following surgery, maintain pressure on the surgical area by biting down on the provided gauze pad or roll. We recommend that you keep firm pressure on the surgical site for 30 minutes.
    • Slight oozing or spotting in the surgical site is expected after the removal of the gauze. If you notice persistent bleeding, however, please replace the gauze, and repeat the above process
    • Cold/Ice water-soaked gauze helps with persistent bleeding
    • Call the office with questions or if bleeding persists
  • For 24 hours following your surgery: DO NOT suck on a straw, rinse, or spit. DO NOT smoke or vape for 72 hours after your surgery. Avoid hot and spicy foods as well as carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
  • Numbness: Numbness around the lip, tongue, chin, and face are normal for 24 hours after surgery. If numbness persists following that timeframe, please call us to discuss your symptoms.
  • Tooth Brushing: You can brush your teeth the day of the extraction (AVOID brushing the surgical site). You should resume gentle tooth brushing the day after surgery. Slight spotting after brushing is expected.
  • Diet: During the first few hours after surgery, please restrict your diet to liquids, and cold and soft foods such as yogurt, apple sauce, and ice cream. You can slowly advance your diet the day after surgery to include soups, well cooked pasta, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, …etc. Continue to advance your diet over the next few days. You should refrain from eating hard nuts, popcorn, or chips until the sockets have completely healed.
  • Postsurgical Swelling and stiffness: Postsurgical swelling and stiffness is typically at its worst 48-72 hours after surgery. Applying a cold compress to the face near the extraction site will help minimize swelling. If using an ice pack, do not apply ice directly to your skin (and always place a cloth between the ice and your skin).  You may apply the cold compress for up to 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off as needed. After 48 hours, you can begin applying moist heat to aid in healing.
  • Activity: Restrict your activities on the day of your surgery. Avoid excessive work or play and resume normal activity the following day as tolerated.
  • Rinses: After the first day, gently rinse with warm salt-water three times a day. Make the rinse by dissolving one-half teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of water. Please don’t use a syringe to rinse your socket unless otherwise directed
  • Prescriptions: Please fill any prescriptions you have been given and take as directed. If you have been prescribed opioid pain medication (example: Vicodin, Norco, Oxycodone, Tramadol), DO NOT drive, operate heavy equipment, work around machinery or tools, or engage in any other activity that may be unsafe when groggy, as your reflexes and judgment will be affected by the medication.
  • Sutures: Sutures may have been placed. Most sutures placed by our office will dissolve on their own in 5-7 days, and it may not be necessary to return to the office for sutures to be removed. If you have sutures that do need a follow-up visit for removal, we will let you know at the time they are placed.
  • Children should be supervised after having an extraction to make sure they do not bite or chew their tongue or lips as this can cause serious injury to the soft tissue.

Please call our office if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, or swelling, or if you have any questions or concerns. In the event of an emergency please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.