After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

Immediately Following Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for explanation.
  • Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.
  • You may have a wire or suture holding a bracket and chain to your braces. Just avoid this area with your tongue and food and tooth brush.

Bleeding

A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following the operation. If bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag can be used for 30 minutes. If bleeding occurs, avoid hot liquids, exercise, and elevate the head. If bleeding persists, call our office immediately.  

Swelling

Use ice packs (externally) on the sides of the face as needed where surgery was performed to help reduce swelling. Apply the ice as much as possible for the first 36 hours.

Pain

For mild to moderate discomfort use Ibuprofen/Motrin/Advil. If you cannot take these medications you may use Tylenol (Acetaminophen). Ibuprofen, Motrin or Advil: Take 2 to 4 tablets every 6 hours as needed. Tylenol:  Take 1 or 2 tablets every 6 hours as needed.  

For severe pain use the prescription pain medication if one was given to you. Add the prescription pain medication to the Ibuprofen, Motrin, or Advil. If you are taking Tylenol, remember that most prescription pain medications contain Tylenol and you should stop taking the Tylenol when you start the prescription pain medications. If the pain does not begin to subside in 2 to 3 days, please call our office. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your antibiotic prescription. If you are having trouble taking the antibiotics, please call the office for instructions.

Diet

After surgery drink plenty of liquids. Do not use straws. Drink from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. Diet: Initially restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you can advance your diet as tolerated. 

keep the mouth clean

Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. You can brush your teeth gently as tolerated. After the first day, use a warm salt water rinse several times a day and after meals to keep the extraction sites clean. (1/4 teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water). 

Activity

Limit vigorous physical activities for 24 hours. This may increase blood pressure and cause more bleeding. After a day or two, you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at Waterville Office Phone Number 207-873-0117. After hours, you will reach our answering service and they will page the doctor and have him call you back.