• You will bleed for a while after the surgery. Most people stop bleeding within a few hours. However, if you regularly take aspirin, NSAIDs or other medications that thin your blood, your bleeding time will be longer.
  • The area around the extraction site will be sore for a few days. Generally, the pain experienced after an extraction can be well-controlled using over-the-counter pain relievers (Ibuprofen or Tylenol).
  • You may notice a small amount of swelling.


  • Change gauze sponges every hour until the bleeding stops. If bleeding continues for more than a few hours, wrap a tea bag in a moist paper towel and place it over the extraction socket. The tannins in the tea will help a blood clot to form.
  • Refrain from eating at least two hours or until the anesthesia has completely worn off.
  • Avoid strenuous activities for 24 hours following an extraction. After 24 hours, resume your normal activities.
  • If you were prescribed a pain reliever, take the pain reliever as prescribed, but only if you need it. If you were not prescribed a pain reliever, you may take any non-prescription pain reliever that you normally take for minor pain according to package instructions. If you have problems with pain control after taking a pain reliever, please contact our office.
  • Antibiotics are rarely prescribed for extractions. However, if you were prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed and take them until they are all gone.
  • If you ware prescribed an antibiotic mouth rinse (e.g. Peridex), use it as directed, but for only five days. Prolonged usage of this mouthwash may stain your teeth.
  • If you feel swelling, apply an ice pack (twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off, repeat) for up to six hours following the surgery. Use an ice pack only on the day of surgery.
  • If you smoke, do not smoke for at least the first 48 hours following the surgery. Ideally, do not smoke again…ever! Smoking slows healing and increases the risk of complications (e.g., dry socket).
  • Avoid drinking through a straw, spitting, or swishing vigorously for the first 48 hours. These actions can dislodge the blood clot and increase the risk of a dry socket.
  • The day after the surgery, gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater (1/2 teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water). You should do this two to three times day for a week following the surgery. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Proper nourishment is important to the healing process–make sure you eat well during the first days after an extraction. Yogurt, soups, pasta, eggs, and ice cream are good initial choices. Keep well-hydrated by drinking water or fruit juices often; avoid alcoholic beverages.


  • You are bleeding excessively. If your mouth fills with blood every 5 to 15 minutes and you have to the bathroom to get rid of the blood, you are bleeding excessively. Contact our office immediately. If you have difficulty contacting us, go to an emergency room.
  • Your bleeding does not stop within 24 hours.
  • You develop a throbbing “toothache” at the extraction site within two to four days after the surgery. You may have developed a dry socket.
  • You have any other questions or concerns about the extraction or the healing process.


  • Most of the time, a post-op exam is not needed after an extraction. However, if we’ve asked you to return, please keep your appointment or call our office to reschedule.