Post op instructions

Post Operative Instructions to Minimize Discomfort after an Extraction or Surgery. Download PDF version here

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The first 24 hours.

  • Do not rinse for at least 24 hours, to avoid dislodging the blood clot.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks for 24 hours.
  • If you are a smoker, avoid smoking as this may cause an infected socket, which is very painful.
  • Avoid any manual work or exercise or exertion for the rest of the day.
  • Slight bleeding is not uncommon for. If bleeding recurs, place a roll of gauze or a clean handkerchief over the wound and apply pressure by biting firmly for 15-20 minutes.
  • If your efforts are unsuccessful after 1-2 hours, contact us as soon as possible. If you are experiencing severe pain and increasing swelling and continual bleeding when our surgery is closed, please contact NHS 111 or attend your closest A&E
  • As the anaesthetic wears off after 2-3 hours, you may feel a dull ache or some soreness. A simple painkiller (whatever you take for a headache) will usually be enough to relieve this. Please follow the exact dose and interval instructions on the packet. You can eat soft food and drink cool fluids after 3 hours.
  • Where antibiotics are prescribed it is important to complete the course. Please note that antibiotics may interfere with the oral contraceptive pill and you are advised to use additional form of contraceptive during the course of treatment and please follow instructions.

After 24 hours.

  • Fill a glass with warm water. Dissolve a level teaspoon of salt, take a mouthful and rinse, spit out when cooled.
  • Repeat 2-3 times, using up all the salt water.
  • From the day after your surgery, use a soft toothbrush to gently but thoroughly brush the affected area. Keeping it clean will minimize the risk of infection, and speed healing.
  • You may experience stiffness, restricted mouth opening, bruising, swelling or discomfort on the second and third days.It might take up to a week (or more)to subside completely.

After removal of wisdom teeth you may experience numbness or tingling of the lip & tongue, this usually resolves within a few days. Please contact the surgery if this persists.

The next 7 days -3 months.

  • After a tooth has been extracted, the gum heals over the extraction site within a few days. If stitches are required, unless otherwise informed will dissolve within 7-10 days.
  • New bone forms in the extraction socket over a period of 3 months. This bone continues to fill in for several months.

What happens if I leave the gap?

Several Things can happen.

    The teeth on either side of the gap can gradually tip into the space.
    The tooth opposite the space (in the opposing arch of teeth) tends to grow towards the space as there is nothing to stop it, causing unevenness in the alignment of the arch.
    The rest of the teeth have to cope with the work of biting and chewing, and are under a heavier load than they should be Tipping and over-eruption can lead to problems with trying to keep the teeth clean, food packing in awkward sites, and irregularities of your bite. In some cases this uneven bite and overloading of the remaining teeth places the jaw joint under unnecessary strain, and this may cause discomfort.
    If you have had a wisdom tooth taken out, there is no need to replace it. Remaining opposing wisdom teeth, however, may sometimes require removal.

Please see your dentist to discuss replacement options.

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