Chesapeake Dentist

Extraction and Oral Surgery
Post-Operative InstructionsChesapeake, VA

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After your extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form, to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on the moist gauze pad (place over each surgical site) for 30 minutes, change with another moistened sterile gauze pad until the bleeding stops completely. Light oozing (a light pink color) is normal throughout the day of surgery. When the surgical site(s) are not visually/actively bleeding, remove the gauze and discontinue its use. You may eat and drink between gauze changes. Over use of gauze, utilizing dry gauze pads, or talking with gauze in place can promote bleeding. If you run out of gauze, you can place a black tea bag over the surgical site(s) and gently bite. The tannic acid constricts the vessels and can slow or stop bleeding.

If you are experiencing heavy bleeding at any time after your surgery (consistent with a nosebleed) call our office as soon as possible. If after 48 hours you have any numbness of the lip, teeth or chin (this is usually temporary) please call our office.

Apply ice packs to the outside of your face for a minimum of 24 hours after your surgery. Do not place ice directly on your skin, wrap the ice in a tea towel or paper towels. Pain can peak after 48-72 hours. If jaw discomfort persists, practice opening and closing. It is important to keep your jaw muscles moving. It is not uncommon to develop bruising on the face after oral surgery.

Do not vigorously rinse or spit for 48 hours. Brushing is important for the healing process. Brush gently around the surgical sites as bleeding and tenderness is common the night of your surgery. After 24 hours, please gently swish with warm salt water, do this after meals and before bedtime. You may resume normal oral hygiene (brushing & flossing) 24 hours after surgery. When expectorating, lean over the sink and allow it to fall from your mouth. No forceful spitting.

Do not drink through a straw or smoke for 1 week. These actions are the main cause(s) of dry socket. A dry socket is formed when the blood clot is dislodged prematurely from the socket causing pain to your neck, head and/or ear(s). This will usually occur 3-5 days after your surgery. If you experience these symptoms, you will need to schedule an appointment with our office.

A soft diet is recommended for at least one week (anything that you can cut with a fork). The day of the surgery, foods such as yogurt, pudding, smoothies, shakes (not using a straw), ice cream and mashed potatoes are recommended. Avoid small or crumbly foods such as rice, chips, ground beef, etc. You may resume a normal diet when it’s comfortable for you.

Take all medications as prescribed, if you have any side effects from taking any medications, discontinue use and call our office immediately. Following most surgical procedures there may or may not be pain. You will be provided with medication for discomfort that is appropriate for you. In most cases, a non-narcotic pain regimen is recommended consisting of acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®). These two medications can be taken together for 1- 2 days post-op. This has shown to be the most effective analgesic with minimal side effects. If you have any questions about these medications interacting with other medications you are presently taking or any medical conditions, please call our office, your physician and/or your pharmacist.

Please avoid any physical activity (such as school sports) including lifting and bending for at least 3-5 days. Ease back into exercise when ready. Throbbing at the surgical site is normal and will subside, but take it slow.

If sutures were used, they should dissolve in 5-7 days. We will advise if you need to be seen for suture removal if dissolvable sutures were not used. If no post op appointment was scheduled, but you have concerns, we are here to help.


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Safe Harbor Dental is located at 502 Bud Dr. Suite 102 Chesapeake, VA 23322.

(757) 333-0087