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A tooth extraction procedure may be performed to treat tooth decay, remove a tooth to prepare for orthodontic treatment, or wisdom teeth removal.

Tooth extraction aftercare instructions

  • Patients should follow all aftercare instructions given by the dentist to properly care for the area. Patients should apply a gauze pad on the surgical site. The gauze should be dampened with water to keep the area moist. Patients should leave the gauze on the surgical site until bleeding lessens and change the gauze as needed.
  • Patients should keep their head elevated and avoid any strenuous activity.
  • Patients should rinse the mouth with warm salt water every 1-2 hours for 48 hours after surgery.
  • The mouth should be kept clean through brushing. Patients should avoid the surgical site when brushing.
  • Ice packs can be applied to reduce swelling.
  • Medications will be prescribed to reduce symptoms.
  • Patients should eat soft foods.
  • Patients should keep hydrated with plenty of fluids.
  • Patients should avoid smoking following the surgery to avoid risk of infection.
Soon after the procedure, the sutures will fall out or become dissolved. If the sutures require removal, the dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove them. The tooth’s empty socket will fill with bone over time.
Possible complications after tooth extraction may include bleeding, bone sequestra, dry socket, lightheadedness, numbness, swelling, and trismus.