Post Extraction Instructions

Swelling, Bruising and Discomfort

Swelling, bruising and discomfort may occur after tooth extractions and is completely normal. Ice packs may be applied at intervals of 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for the first 24 to 48 hours.

Stitches (if applicable)

Stitches placed will dissolve on their own within 3 to 7 days.


A small amount of redness mixed with saliva is normal after surgery. Do not spit for first 24 hours. Smoking and using a drinking straw must be avoided as they also promote bleeding. Exercise and strenuous activity will also promote bleeding. Apply pressure by biting on gauze for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary.

Common Complications

Dry sockets

One of the more common complications people experience after a tooth extraction is that of developing a "dry socket". It is thought that this condition is caused when either a blood clot has failed to form in the tooth socket (hole left after extracting a tooth), or else the blood clot has been dislodged. Since the blood clot is an important part of the healing process, the normal healing of the extraction site is interrupted.

Typically dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which does not appear until three or four days after the tooth extraction. The pain can be moderate of severe in intensity and often seems to radiate from the area of the extraction site to the ear. Dry sockets typically create a foul odor or bad taste. Following the post operative instructions will reduce the chances of developing a dry socket.

Dry sockets need to be treated to relieve the pain. A medicated dressing is placed into the dry socket to help soothe and moderate the pain.

Bone fragments

Sometimes small fragments of dead bone will come to the surface of any extraction site as the patient's body ejects them during the healing process. You may be able to remove the smallest of these splinters of bone on your own, or you may find that you require assistance in removing them.

Completion Of The Healing Process

As time passes the shape of the empty tooth socket will smooth over and fill in with bone. While it can take many weeks and months for this healing process to occur fully, from a practical standpoint after 1 to 2 weeks enough healing will have occurred that the extraction site should only be a minor inconvenience to you.

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