Tooth extraction, performed by a dentist, consists in extracting a tooth under local anesthesia. A dental extraction is generally done when a tooth is too decayed to be treated. It can also be to remove a tooth not visible, even under the gum (impacted tooth) as a wisdom tooth.

It hurts?

1 hour before your appointment, you can take a pill of Ibuprofen (advil, motrin…).
Once the anesthetic (numbing) loses its effect, it is normal to feel pain. The period of most intense pain could last 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Pain or discomfort at the site of the operation may last for 3 to 5 days. The pain will be more or less pronounced depending on the person and from one operation to another.
It is important that you rest. The more you move, the more you may feel pain. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if the pain does not decrease after 48 hours, or at any time if you believe that there is a problem.

  • What to do

    • Your dentist or oral surgeon will place a sterile gauze pad in place operated on to reduce bleeding and retain blood during coagulation. One must keep the pad in place for 15 minutes, the pad needs to be changed every 15 minutes till the bleeding stops . If bleeding continues an hour later, place a new gauze and hold a firm and constant pressure on the site for another hour.
    • Relax and keep your head elevated. The fact of resting slows blood flow, reduces bleeding and accelerates healing. Brush your teeth and floss as usual, but avoid contact with the wound and use only a little water. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if you bleed a lot 4 hours or more after the operation.
    • Wait at least 24 hours after surgery before you gently rinse your mouth with warm water. Your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend adding a half-teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water for each rinse. Rinse your mouth 4 to 5 times per day for 3 or 4 days.

  • What NOT to do

    • Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours, even if the bleeding and oozing leave a bad taste in the mouth.
    • Do not chew the gauze and do not suck the wound.
    • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol during the next 48 hours, do not spit or drink with a straw (no suction)
    • Do not indulge you in a physical activity for at least 48 hours after surgery.
    • Avoid hot liquids like coffee and tea. Let the soup cool before eating. Hot liquids activate blood circulation and bleeding may start again. Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking during 48 hours following surgery. Alcohol and Tobacco impair coagulation, increase the risk of infection and delay healing.

Your face is swollen?

Your face may swell during the first 24 hours after surgery and stay for 5 to 7 days. When the swelling goes down, it may be that you have a bruise that can last up to 10 days after surgery.   What to do:

  • The FIRST day after surgery

    • The FIRST day following surgery, apply a cold compress on the swollen area. You can make a cold compress by wrapping ice in a towel or you can use a bag of frozen vegetables. Keep the pad 10 minutes. Remove it 10 minutes and do it again. Repeat this process if possible for 24 hours after the operation.

  • The SECOND day after surgery

    • The SECOND day after surgery, apply a little heat on the swelling. You can make a warm compress using a hot water bottle or heating pad wrapped in a towel, but make sure it is not too hot to avoid burns. The heat activates the blood circulation and reduces swelling. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if the swelling increases after 48 hours or if it persists 7 days after the surgical intervention.

Your jaw is sore?

It is possible that your jaw muscles are sore or stiff after surgery and you have difficulty opening your mouth for 7 to 10 days. This may be due to having kept open the mouth during surgery.

  • What to do

    • Lightly massage the jaw muscles with a warm, damp washcloth if they are not too sensitive. Eat easy to chew foods as eggs, bananas and pasta. Drink smoothies (milkshakes), milk and juice. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if, after 7 to 10 days, the jaw muscles are still sore or if you still have difficulty opening the mouth.

  • What NOT to do

    • Do not coerce opening the mouth.
    • Do not chew gum and do not eat hard or difficult to chew foods