Tooth Extraction (Instructions)

Immediately Following Surgery
  • Firmly bite on the gauze pad that the doctor placed over the surgical area as this helps to stop the bleeding. We will change the gauze pad before you leave the office. You may change the gauze pad once more at home, leaving it on for 30 more minutes.
  • You may have difficulty feeling your lips, cheeks or tongue due to the numbness. This is a temporary feeling and will wear off within 2 to 6 hours. Please take care not to bite your lips, cheeks or tongue.
  • When you get home, fold and place a gauze pad directly over the extraction site. Bite firmly for 30 minutes. If blood continued to pool or drip out of the extraction site within 15-20 seconds of removing the gauze, apply another fresh gauze pad for an additional 30 minutes. Do not use the amount of blood on the gauze pad as a guide because minimal bleeding may continue for up to 24 hours.
  • Your saliva could be slightly blood-tinged for several days after the surgery. This is common. Therefore, you should cover your pillow with a plastic bag or a sheet during the first night to prevent staining of your pillow case.
  • Please call Shen Dental if bleeding is excessive.
Pain Following Surgery
  • Some discomfort is to be expected following any surgery.
  • If you received a prescription following your surgery, please follow the instructions very carefully.
  • Common painkillers (such as Advil, Tylenol, and Aleve) work very well on pain following surgery. They can reduce the amount of prescribed pain medication you need. You may alternate your prescription pain medication with ibuprofen for maximum pain relief. Ask before you leave the clinic for best results!
  • Do not use ibuprofen if you are allergic to aspirin or other NSAIDs.
Prescription Medication
  • If you received a prescription for an antibiotics and/or pain medication following your surgery, please fill the prescription at the pharmacy of your choice. You should follow the instructions that the doctor gave carefully.
  • If itching or swelling occurs, stop taking the medications and call Shen Dental immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • You should chew as little as possible on the side of the surgery.
  • If you had multiple extractions, you should have some soft foods on the day of the surgery and the following day. Good foods include ice cream, pudding, jello, yogurt, soup (lukewarm), pancakes, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and pasta. After the third day you can eat anything you wish with caution, unless the doctor gives you different instructions.
  • You should avoid especially hard, crunchy food that may disturb the surgery site for at least one week. These include foods such as chips or nuts.
  • You should avoid alcoholic drinks for at least 24 hours following general anesthesia, or as long as you are taking pain medication.

You should not smoke for at least 3 days following surgery/extraction. The longer you avoid smoking, the better your healing will progress.

Sucking and Spitting
  • You should not use straws for 3 days following surgery.
  • You should not suck or pick at the extraction site because sucking may increase the bleeding.
  • You should not spit the blood or saliva because spitting may increase the bleeding.
Brushing and Rinsing Your Mouth Following Surgery
  • Avoid all brushing, rinsing or spitting the day of the surgery.
  • The day after your surgery, you may brush your teeth, but avoid brushing near the extraction site(s) for 3 days.
  • From day 3 onward after the surgery, you should rinse your mouth with 1/2 cup of warm water and a pinch of salt until it heals. Do not use a mouthwash that contains alcohol because it can irritate the wound.

Your sutures dissolve on their own and may come out any time after surgery. You may notice that they are loose after the swelling of your gum tissue decreases. This is completely normal.

  • Do not drive or engage in strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after surgery.
  • You may return to work or school when you feel you are recovered. We can supply a doctor’s note if necessary.
Follow-up Appointment

You may be asked to return to our office for a post-operative follow-up visit within 10-14 days after surgery. There is no additional charge for this follow-up visit. Please make an effort to return to have your surgical sites examined for proper healing.

You may also read our information on Complications After Tooth Extraction.


#102-3737 Oak Street, Vancouver BC




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