Post-Op Instructions Following An Extraction

REST, ICE and MEDICATION are very important immediately following surgery.


  • Rest quietly with your head elevated for the remainder of the day.
  • Always get up slowly from a reclining position to prevent dizziness.
  • Limit physical activity as if you have a cold or the flu.
  • To encourage rapid healing, please REST!


  • As soon as possible, place an ice pack on your face over the surgical area; 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
  • Use the ice pack for the first 6 hours following surgery. This will contribute to your comfort and minimize swelling.
  • Moist heat may be applied the day following surgery for added comfort.


  • Ideally, pain medication should be taken BEFORE numbness wears off. You may wish to take your pain medication at our office immediately following surgery, but you MUST HAVE A DRIVER if you choose to do this. If you do not have a driver you may take the medication as prescribed as soon as you arrive home.
  • If the pain medication seems to wear off before it is time to take more, you may want to alternate it with Ibuprofen every two hours. Ibuprofen: Do not exceed 800mg three times a day.
  • If an antibiotic was prescribed, take it as directed until it is ALL GONE.
  • Some pain medications may cause lightheadedness. Lying down will help this.
  • Some pain medications may cause an upset stomach. Taking these with food will lessen this effect.


  • Do not brush, floss, rinse, or spit the day of surgery, as it can dislodge the blood clot that has formed in the extraction site.
  • You may begin to brush NON-SURGICAL areas the day following surgery. Remember to rinse very gently.
  • You may begin brushing the surgical areas 2 days after surgery. When brushing the surgical area, run your toothbrush under hot water first to soften the bristles.


  • Eat softer foods such as cooked eggs, yogurt, baked potatoes or hot cereal. It is best to chew on the opposite side from the extraction.
  • Avoid extremes: very cold, very hot, acidic foods such as oranges and tomatoes. Also avoid chewy or sharp foods such as nuts, chips, candy, bread or gum.
  • Maintain as balanced a diet as possible.


  • Fluids should be consumed as soon as possible. It is recommended that you drink 6-8 glasses of water over the remainder of the day following surgery.
  • Avoid using a straw for 24 to 48 hours, as it may cause a suction which may loosen the clotting, causing bleeding.


  • Some seepage of blood is expected, however, extensive bleeding should not occur. If such bleeding should occur, apply firm pressure with moist gauze of a moistened tea bag to the area for 20 minutes. If bleeding does not subside, please call us.


  • Avoid the use of alcohol and aspirin products for two (2) days after surgery or until you are no longer taking pain medication. These are both blood thinners and may cause bleeding and delay the healing process.


  • Some swelling often occurs and this is normal. However, if swelling seems excessive and is accompanied by fever and/or pain, please call us immediately.


  • We strongly advise NO SMOKING after surgery. The “drawing” action of smoking can cause the blood clot to dislodge and cause a “dry socket”. Smoking also tends to dry out the oral tissue which delays healing and may increase the potential for bleeding.

Please call our office if you are in pain or have any questions regarding your treatment.