Post-operative instructions for minor dental surgery or extractions
For an extraction socket or surgical area to begin healing, the first step is the formation of a blood clot. This clot acts as a scaffold for bone regeneration. This clot is very fragile and it is important you know how to take care of it in order to promote healing. Continue to bite firmly on gauze pack for 15 minutes if bleeding restarts.
- Rinse your mouth vigorously for the first day following surgery or extraction, as this may disturb the clot and start fresh bleeding. After this initial healing period you must then keep the wound as clean as possible using Savacol and salty mouth rinse, especially after eating.
- Smoke for as long as possible, and minimise any smoking for the next week. Smoking slows down wound healing and increases the risk of infection.
- Drink alcohol for at least 24 hours as this can cause new bleeding, and may react badly with any pain relief tablets.
- Exercise or undertake any strenuous activity for 48 hours, as the wound may be disturbed and re-open.
- Allow food to be pushed into the wound area. Eat a soft and nutritious diet.
Please also be careful to not to bite the numbed cheek, lip or tongue. If you have pain, please take analgesics administered or recommended (Advil, Panadeine). Rest but keep the head slightly elevated; this decreases the risk of new bleeding. Swelling can be reduced by placing an ice-pack on the area for 20 mins, then taking it off for 20 mins before reapplying again over a few hours.
- Contact your dentist if you have any problems.
- Brush your teeth as normal, but avoid the surgical site for the first 3 days, then slowly increase vigour of brushing/flossing of the surgical site over the rest of the first week. You should be able to resume normal cleaning after the first week.
After the surgery you will remain numb for a few hours. It is important to take the medicine as directed by your dentist. You can expect slight bleeding from the site for up to two days after your surgery. Biting on a piece of gauze or handkerchief for a few minutes will usually stop this problem. If heavy bleeding continues you should contact a dentist.
There may also be some swelling or bruising of the area for the first two days after surgery.
The removal of teeth or oral surgery can be considered a minor surgical procedure. Even though you may be feeling quite well, you must take every opportunity to rest during the first three days following surgery. This will ensure quick healing with minimal risk of complications. You can phone us 07 5559 5911, or 0417 102 710 for advice after hours.