Oral Surgery

At General Dentistry Centers, we want to make your visit comfortable by having the best staff catering to your questions and needs. When preparing for surgery, remember a few things to be ready for your big day.

Pre-Surgery Instructions

Before any oral surgical procedure, you should:

  • Eat a light and easily digestible meal the night before your appointment.
  • Wear short sleeves and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Arrange for a relative or friend to accompany you and drive you home.

You should NOT:

  • Eat or drink anything, or drive a car on the day of your appointment if you will be sedated.

Post-Surgery Instructions

Fold a piece of clean gauze into a thick pad and bite directly on the extraction site. Apply moderate pressure by closing the teeth firmly over the pad. Maintain this pressure for about 30 minutes. If the pad becomes soaked, replace it with a clean one as necessary. Do not suck on the extraction site (as with a straw). A slight amount of blood may leak at the extraction site until a clot forms. However, if heavy bleeding continues, call us. Remember, though, that a lot of saliva and a little blood can look like a lot of bleeding.

The Blood Clot

After an extraction, a blood clot forms in the tooth socket and is an important part of the healing process. You should, therefore, avoid activities that might disturb it.

Here’s how to protect it:

  • Do not smoke, vigorously rinse your mouth or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities create suction in the mouth, which could dislodge the clot and delay healing.
  • Do not clean the teeth next to the healing tooth socket for the rest of the day. You should, however, brush and floss your other teeth thoroughly, and gently rinse your mouth afterwards.
  • Limit strenuous activity for 24 hours after the extraction. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot form. Get plenty of rest.
  • If you have sutures, your dentist will instruct you when to return to have them removed.

Medication

We may prescribe medication to control pain and prevent infection. Use it only as directed. If the medication prescribed does not work for you, do not increase the dosage. Please call us immediately if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.

Swelling and Pain

After a tooth is removed, you may have some discomfort and notice some swelling. You can help reduce both by applying cold compresses to the face. An ice bag or cold, moist cloth can be used periodically. Ice should be used only for the first day. Apply heat the following day if needed. Be sure to follow the instructions of our dentist.

Diet

After the extraction, drink plenty of liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Avoid alcoholic beverages and hot liquids. Begin eating solid foods the next day or as soon as you can chew comfortably. For about two days, try to chew food on the opposite side of the extraction site. If you are troubled by nausea and vomiting, call us.

Rinsing

The day after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in an 8-oz. glass of warm water). Rinsing after meals is important to keep food particles away from the extraction site. Do not rinse vigorously!