After Dental Extraction

Oral Surgery Instructions, Bellevue WA & Renton

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, smoking or touching the wound on the day of surgery. 


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding can be frequently controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the black tea helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. If bleeding does not subside, call our office for further instructions.


To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag near the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 48 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Dry Socket

Normal healing of a tooth socket involves formation of a blood clot which protects the site and provides elements for soft tissue and bone healing. Loss of some or the entire clot is called dry socket (alveolar osteitis). This is usually identified by increasing or persistent pain on the fourth or fifth day after surgery. Management may include gentle washing of the site with a water syringe and placing a eugenol (clove oil) dressing.

Sinus precautions

In the event that a tooth is located near the maxillary sinus is removed, an opening into the sinus may occur. While rare, it usually heals without surgical intervention. Specific measures can be taken and may be advised after surgery to help promote healing: 1. avoid smoking 2. avoid sucking on a straw 3. avoid sneezing (or sneeze with mouth open) 4. use sinus decongestants such as Sudafed or Actifed as needed 5. antibiotics may be prescribed if indicated. If you notice drainage through the nose or movement of air where your tooth was removed, please contact our office for assessment.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The day after surgery, use the prescription oral rinse as directed; after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers or full dentures should be worn as discussed in the pre-operative consultation.