What to do (and not do!) following tooth removal and extraction?
- Posted on: Dec 30 2019
The removal of a tooth is called an extraction, and postoperative care following an extraction is incredibly important to ensure proper healing. Patients may have teeth extracted for a wide range of reasons. Some patients have teeth extracted in preparation for obtaining dentures. Others may have their wisdom teeth removed either before or after they erupt, due to the increased risk of decay or impaction. Whatever the reason, tooth extraction does require proper care following surgery to ensure healing.
What to do after a tooth extraction
- Get enough rest. Exercising and other activities should be avoided for at least 24 hours. When resting, keep the head elevated.
- Allow for clotting. Clotting is vital to proper healing. If you do not allow the clotting to occur, dry socket may form. This is incredibly painful and greatly delays the healing process.
- Use ice packs. Ice packs on the face can reduce swelling. Swelling can last not only during the day of surgery, but for several days later. However, with continued use of ice packs, swelling can stay under control. Apply ice packs for 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes. This should be done for one to two hour timeframes to reduce swelling.
- Smoke cigarettes. Cigarettes should be avoided for at least two days after tooth extraction, as this can increase the risk of dry socket.
- Eat solids. While your mouth is still numb, you should only eat soft foods. This may include soups, yogurt, milkshakes, or even mashed potatoes until the area is healing properly.
- Avoid medication. Your dentist gives you pain medications for a reason, especially antibiotics. You should take all medications as prescribed to help reduce the risk of infection and to ensure you are comfortable through the healing process.
Call Drs. Nancy Gill and Dallas Kenson to learn more about postoperative care
If you are undergoing a tooth extraction and want to learn more about what to do and not do following tooth removal and extraction, speak with Drs. Nancy Gill and Dallas Kenson today. The practice is located at 1218 Arapahoe Street in Golden, CO and provides quality dentistry.
Posted in: Tooth Extraction