You and your doctor may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have fractured in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted wisdom teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint and shifting teeth.  To avoid these complications you may want to consider replacement of the extracted tooth.

Post-Operative Instructions


  • Bite on gauze with firm pressure for one hour and lay in a semi-reclined position.
  • If you are still bleeding when the gauze is removed, moisten the extra gauze provided, fold in fourths and bite for another hour. (The gauze you remove will have blood on it.)
  • Drink plenty of fluids but no alcoholic or carbonated beverages.
  • Eat at soon as possible.  maintain a soft diet for 24-48 hours after multiple extractions. If the surgery was only on one side, you can eat a normal diet on the opposite side.
  • Resume normal maximal opening as soon as possible.  The jaw muscles must be stretched to prevent healing with limited opening ability.
  • Take medications as instructed. Discontinue narcotic pain medication as soon as possible. Use Advil, Tylenol, etc.
  • Use ice packs if instructed to do so. Ten minutes on and ten minutes off for first 24 hours.  Use moist heat after 24 hours.
  • Brush gently near the surgery site after 24 hours.

Do Not:

For the first 24 hours do not:

  • Rinse
  • Smoke
  • Engage in strenuous physical activity
  • Use a straw
  • Drink carbonated beverages
  • Spit
  • Drink alcohol
  • Disturb forming blood clots
  • Do not drive, drink alcohol, or handle dangerous machinery while taking narcotic pain medications.


  • Red tinted saliva for 24-36 hours.  This is due to oozing and is normal.
  • Sore muscles or TMJ (jaw joints).
  • Minor to severe discomfort. Take pain meds for relief.
  • Sore areas on the gums if you had dentures placed.
  • Resorbable sutures require up to 10 days to dissolve.
  • Nausea or drowsiness due to narcotic pain medications.

Possible Surgical Complications

  • Swelling and/or bruising for 4-6 days.
  • Dry socket (lost blood clot). Increase in pain usually starts 2-3 days after surgery. Call us if necessary.
  • Temporary prolonged numbness of lip
  • Exposed sinus or root tips pushed into sinus.
  • Root tips retained in jaw.
  • Post operative infection.

If you have problems or concerns after normal office hours, the on-call dentist can be reached.