After Single Tooth Extraction

Please review this information prior to your surgery. Following these instructions will assist in your recovery. 


If you have been treated by our office and have encountered an emergent situation after hours, please call our main office number Lethbridge Office Phone Number 587-425-1600 to contact Drs. Goth or Olsen. We prefer if you contact us first rather than your own dentist or family doctor; however, if you have difficulty breathing or are experiencing severe bleeding requiring immediate attention, proceed to the emergency room or dial 911. Calls for prescription refills and routine questions should be made during our regular office hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm).


After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to repeat this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.


After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. If you have mild to moderate pain,  over-the-counter Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be used, provided you do not have any allergies or health reasons to avoid them. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if in doubt.

If using Regular Strength Tylenol, up to two tablets may be taken every 4 hours. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets, and up to two tablets may be taken every 4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Call the office if the medication does not seem to be working.


If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. If you develop a rash, stop taking the antibiotics and notify the oral surgeon.


Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.


It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include gently brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. After the first day, use warm salt water rinse (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water) every 4 hours and following meals; this will help flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area.


After a few days 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 at Lethbridge Office Phone Number 587-425-1600.