Postoperative Instructions for   Surgical/Non-Surgical Extractions

Immediately following surgery

Bite firmly on the gauze pads covering each extraction site to help stop the bleeding. You may change the gauze pads once more at home, leaving gauze in 30 additional minutes.

You may have difficulty feeling your lips, cheeks or tongue due to numbness. This is a temporary feeling and will wear off within 2 to 6 hours. Please take care not to bite your lips, cheeks or tongue.


When you get home, fold and place a gauze pad directly over the extraction site and bite firmly for 30 minutes. If excessive bleeding continues, apply another fresh gauze pad for an additional 30 minutes. Excessive bleeding is defined as pooling or dripping blood out of the extraction sites within 15-20 seconds of removing the gauze. Don’t use the amount of blood on the gauze as a guide, because minimal bleeding may persist for up to 24 hours. It is not unusual for saliva to be slightly blood-tinged for several days following surgery. Please call our office if you feel bleeding is excessive.

Avoid spitting/sucking vigorously or physically disturbing the extraction site to encourage blood clotting.


Pain/discomfort can vary from person to person. It is important to manage your pain so that you can recover quickly. Taking pain killers regularly (e.g. 400mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours) will allow an easier recovery. Pain should decrease after 2-3 days.

Swelling is normal and usually reaches its peak after 24-30 hours following the procedure and will then subside after.

Oral Hygiene (Brushing or Rinsing)

Do not rinse your mouth until the next day. Rinsing during the early stages of healing will lead to increased bleeding. Rinse with warm salt water (a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) the next day. Do not brush the extraction/surgical site until 3 days after.


Your diet should be restricted to soft food and fluids initially. We expect that your return to normal food should be gradual to allow optimum healing time.

Resuming activities/Exercise

Do not engage in strenuous activities for at least 24 hours. You may return to work or school when you feel you are recovered. We can supply a certificate of attendance/treatment if necessary.

Dry Socket

Is a painful condition that occurs 4-5 days after extraction/s. It is most probably due to the blood clot being dislodged, leaving the socket exposed (hence the name). Please avoid smoking for at least 1 week to reduce the incidence of a dry socket and follow the above instructions. Feel free to contact our office if you think you have a dry socket.