Extraction After Care
This fact sheet provides people who have had dental surgery with information about what to expect during the recovery process, how to avoid complications and what to do if they occur.
What should I expect following dental surgery?
Healing usually occurs quickly and without complications. Problems may arise because the mouth must be used for eating and speaking while healing is taking place. Additionally the mouth cannot be sterilised and there is always a risk of infection.
Following dental surgery the anaesthetic effect may continue for several hours. Your mouth may feel swollen and uncomfortable during this period. You can expect some pain because the tissues have been disturbed during treatment. There may also be slight bleeding which is just enough to discolour the saliva for a few hours. There should be continual improvement until healing is complete.
How can I prevent complications following dental surgery?
You can help yourself to prevent complications such as pain, swelling, infection and bleeding by following a few simple rules.
The blood clot that seals the wound is essential to the healing process. It prevents infection, helps new tissues form and stops the wound from re-opening, to avoid washing the blood clot away, don’t rinse the mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery.
Avoid excessive activity for about 24 hours.
Don’t lie down flat. Relax but keep the head elevated. This decreases the risk of bleeding.
Don’t place fingers, pencils or any other object in the mouth (to avoid injury or infection).
To avoid injury, don’t bite or suck a numb lip, cheek or tongue. Watch carefully that younger children don’t chew or suck a numb lip, cheek or tongue.
Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol as it delays healing.
When eating follow these tips:
Eat soft, nutritious food such as soft boiled eggs, finely chopped meat, or cheese, custards, milk, soup or fruit juice.
Chew on the opposite side of your mouth to the wound.
Rinse your mouth gently after meals. A teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water is an effective mouth rinse.
What should I do if complications occur?
The most common complications are pain, swelling, infection and bleeding.
Pain: Control moderate pain by taking paracetamol. Take this drug as directed on the packaging and do not apply the drug to the wound itself. If the pain persists or worsens, please call us. In most cases pain can be controlled quickly.
Swelling: Some swelling or difficulty in opening your mouth is common, but it should begin to subside after a day or two. If swelling persists, call us for advice or to arrange an urgent review appointment.
Infection: Continued pain, swelling or raised temperature may indicate an infection. Infection may spread or seriously delay healing. If you suspect an infection call us for advice.
Bleeding: Continued bleeding is not normal. If your mouth is bleeding continuously, remove any excessive blood clots from the mouth and then apply one of the sterile gauze pads we have supplied you with to the wound (Alternatively a clean, folded handkerchief may be used). Keep the gauze in place by applying pressure or firmly closing your jaws on it. Sit down and maintain pressure for at least 20 minutes. If the bleeding cannot be stopped using this method, call us for advice. After hours, report to the accident and emergency department of the nearest general hospital.
Phone: (07) 3200 7676
Meadowbrook Shopping Centre
Cnr Loganlea Rd & Logandowns Dr
Meadowbrook QLD 4131
Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri – 8:30am-5:00pm
Thurs – 8:30am – Late
Sat – 8:30am – 12:30pm
Outside of these hours please contact 13HEALTH (13 432 584)
or your local hospital.