Before having a tooth extracted it is not necessary to starve yourself; a light meal is recommended a couple of hours prior to your appointment.

A certain amount of tenderness and swelling is inevitable after any surgical procedure, so please ensure you have pain killers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen available.

If you have been prescribed Diazepam (a Valium type sedative) this should be taken one hour before your appointment. It is essential that you do not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours afterwards. You will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Advice after extractions and surgical procedures

After dental operations a certain amount of pain and swelling is inevitable. To minimise this please avoid very hot drinks and chewing on the affected side. Do not partake in strenuous exercise for the next day, as this may encourage the socket to bleed.

DIET: a soft diet is advisable for the first couple of days.

SMOKING: If you are a smoker please do not smoke for 48 hours after your operation as smoking delays healing.

DISCOMFORT: Pain relieving tablets such as Paracetamol, Codis or Nurofen - may be taken if required.  Please follow the manufacturer’s directions.

HOT SALINE MOUTHWASHES: Starting the day FOLLOWING surgery, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a tumbler of water, as hot as can comfortably be held in the mouth. Each mouthful should be held adjacent to the area of operation until the heat has gone. Use one full tumbler for five minutes three times a day, after meals and before you go to bed, until all swelling and stiffness of the jaw has disappeared.  DO NOT apply heat to the outside of the face.

CHLOHEXIDINE MOUTHWASH: Recent research has shown that the use of a chlorhexidine based antibacterial mouthwash reduces the risk of post-operative infection.  We recommend that you rinse twice a day after cleaning your teeth for at least one week following surgery.

SUTURES: If present, are removed a week to ten days later. Sutures may be dissolvable, in which case removal is not necessary. However, these sutures can take up to six weeks to dissolve. Please contact us, if after ten days you would like them removed.

Severe pain or a sudden increase in swelling occurring after 48 hours implies that there is a minor infection at the operation site. You should, in these circumstances, contact the practice rather than your doctor. If this is outside of surgery hours, our answerphone message will give details of who to contact for advice or treatment. Alternatively, contact the Accident and Emergency Department of your local hospital.

BLEEDING: A certain amount of oozing from fresh tooth sockets and surgical wounds is a normal occurrence. This may appear more than it really is because of dilution with saliva. If bleeding appears to be excessive DO NOT RINSE THE MOUTH. Take a clean white handkerchief or a surgical gauze pack (provided), soak in very hot water (boiled) and squeeze as dry as possible. When the ‘pack’ has cooled sufficiently, so that it will not burn the mouth, place it carefully over the bleeding tooth socket or wound and bite firmly on it for AT LEAST HALF AN HOUR. Sit down and rest. Repeat if necessary. If excessive bleeding persists seek advice and treatment as outlined above.