Extractions

To avoid a dry socket (post operative infection of the bone), usually due to early loss of the blood clot....

  1. Avoid cycling or excessive exercise for several hours. Ideally, rest by sitting in a chair and use an extra pillow for the first night. Excessive exercise will cause further bleeding therefore not raising your blood pressure.
  2. Do not drink anything alcoholic for 24 hours.
  3. Take any pain-killing tablets (except aspirin) as advised by your dentist. Follow any instructions regarding dosage carefully.
  4. You may feel the sharp edge of a socket with your tongue and occasionally small fragments of bone may work their way out. This is normal.
  5. Do not disturb the socket with your tongue, by eating food on that side, sticking your tongue into the socket or by vigorous rinsing. This will delay the healing process.

A dry socket will delay healing and causes immense pain. It can last for up to four to six weeks.

Up to 24 hours after extraction....

  1. Do not rinse your mouth out for 24 hours.
  2. Do not drive a motor vehicle or bicycle after the extraction. Bring a friend to take you home.
  3. Do not smoke after extractions.
  4. Always remember that a clean and healthy mouth heals more rapidly than a neglected one.
  5. Do not use any machinery.

After extraction instructions – after 24 hours....

  1. A warm salt water rinse (made by adding a level teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water) should be used to bathe the wound at least 3 times a day, after all food, until healing is complete.
  2. If after 24 hours the pain is severe, consult the surgery for advice.

If excessive bleeding occurs....

  1. Use some clean linen or gauze about 1.5” (4cm) wide to make a roll of 1” (2.5cm) thick, thus forming a firm pad, or use a clean handkerchief. Make a few such pads if necessary.
  2. Keep sitting up and clear the mouth of loose blood clots with a clean linen square or tissue so that you can find where the socket is bleeding. This is important.
  3. Place the pad across the bleeding socket from the tongue to the cheek side. If the socket is between two standing teeth constrict the pad to fit.
  4. Bite firmly to compress the pad on the bleeding socket for 10-15 mins. Avoid lying down.
  5. Inspect the socket and replace the pad, or use another one, if bleeding still appears from the socket.
  6. Consult the surgery if excessive bleeding continues for more than a few hours or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Unit.
  7. It is not unusual to experience swelling or discomfort for a few days.

However, if pain, swelling or bleeding persist contact the dentist but remember, if excessive bleeding does occur it is important to avoid exercise, drinking alcohol or disturbing the socket.

Complications from an extraction

The following can happen:

  • It may not be possible to actually remove the tooth in the surgery or the top of the tooth can break off from the roots. If this happens we would have to refer you to an oral surgeon to have the tooth or remainder of the tooth extracted in hospital. There may be a waiting list.
  • The socket may ooze slightly for a few hours. Some bony spicules may outline the edge of the wound. These will either be separated and exfoliated or reabsorbed into the healing socket. These symptoms usually improve within a week.
  • Some bruising and stiffness will occur and you may experience some difficulty in opening your jaw wide. This will usually pass over the following week or two.
  • Pain and discomfort may be relieved with ordinary pain killers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. You may also be prescribed antibiotics.
  • Occasionally wisdom teeth sockets become infected. This will cause the pain, stiffness and swelling to last longer than normal. Antibiotics will probably be prescribed.

It is your choice whether you wish to undertake this procedure.

Last updated: 10.05.2017 at 17:00 GMT