An extraction is the removal of a tooth or teeth that is non-restorable, non-useful, or harmful to the patient. There exists many systemic precautions, do's and dont's that should be discussed by each individual and their dentist. Post extraction precautions include some of the following:
- Pressure-bite on gauze or sponge over extraction site for at least 45 minutes after extractions.
- No rinsing or mouthwash use for at least 24 hours post extractions.
- Rinsing may be allowed after 24 hours depending on the patient, with warm salt water, i.e. 1/2 teaspoon salt in approximately eight ounces water every two hours. Best to still avoid mouthrinses.
- Avoid any pressure that may dissolve clot such as using straws, smoking, etc.
- Avoid brushing the first 24 hours.
- Avoid alcohol for a few days.
If bleeding persists, it is important that you call your dentist. If sutures were placed after extraction it is important to return for removal of sutures and to evaluate healing. If swelling occurs, which often happens after extractions, it can be minimized by placing an ice bag as soon as possible on the side of the extraction for a 15 minute interval and can be repeated every 30 minutes for the next six hours post-operatively. Ice should be used only on the day of surgery. For pain and infections, your dentist may require oral pain medications and/or antibiotics.