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Lexington Dental Care | After Tooth Extraction in Lexington

Lexington Dental Care

922 Waltham Street, Suite 205
Lexington, MA 02421

Brenda Nishimura DDS, FAGD

(781) 861-1444

After Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is a surgical procedure that requires some post-operative care to reduce the chance of infection or other complications. After the tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms to fill the area that the tooth root resided. Care must be taken not to disrupt or dislodge this blood clot as a "dry socket" may develop.  The symptom of a dry, socket is an intense pain in the area where the tooth was extracted and will usually start about two days after the extraction.  Immediate relief from "dry socket" pain can be achieved by having the dentist place "dry socket" paste in the socket.  Begin brushing with salt water the day after surgery and continue for 7 days doing so 4 times per day. Care to avoid dislodging the clot includes not rinsing for the first 24 hours after the extraction.  Avoid very hot, bubbly, or alcoholic beverages.  Do not drink through a straw and avoid smoking for 24-48 hours.  If the extracted tooth was a "wisdom tooth", ice packs place on the side of the face for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off several times during the first 24 hours after the extraction will help minimize swelling. Sleeping in a chair upright for the first night after an extraction can also help with swelling.  If bleeding begins at home, bite on a moistened gauze pad or a moistened tea bag for 20 minutes. If you continue to have no success, call the office. NOTE: There will be a small amount of blood in the saliva 2 days after surgery. You may want to sleep on an old pillowcase or towel. For pain, we recommend two Advil tablets every four hours for the first 48 hours.  If pain cannot be managed by taking the Advil every four hours, we recommend alternating with two Tylenol tablets.  In other words, take two Advil, and then two hours later take two Tylenol, and then two Advil, and so on until the pain can be managed.  Then stretch the time intervals to three hours, four hours and so on.  Never take extra strength Tylenol because of the possible side effects of liver damage.  Regular strength Tylenol should be sufficient. Should pain, swelling, fever or redness develop or get worse, contact the dentist. Begin rinsing with salt water the day after surgery and continue for 7 days doing so 4 times per day.