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Extractions

Socket Preservation

Many of the usual concerns with extractions are eliminated when socket preservation is done after extraction. Bleeding is usually not an issue due to the material placed in and over the socket. Dry socket is usually not an issue due to the material placed in and over the socket. Small fragments of material placed in the socket may come loose, but is usually of no concern. It is still important to be careful brushing and flossing in area of socket preservation. The other general guidelines for extraction below are still recommended.

Bleeding

You will leave the office with a gauze pack on the extraction site to help curb bleeding and promote clotting. Maintain firm pressure and leave the pack in place for at least 30-45 minutes until clotting occurs. Sometimes it is necessary to replace the gauze pack multiple times until bleeding is minimized. It is normal for minor bleeding or oozing for 24-48 hours. When blood is mixed with saliva, there appears to be more bleeding than is actually taking place. If there any concerns, however, feel free to contact the office at any time.

Activities

The patient will need to limit activity for the first 24 hours to reduce bleeding and allow the clot to form and stay intact for complete healing.

Anesthesia

Remember, following dental anesthesia, the lips, gums and cheeks can remain numb for several hours. Avoid eating or biting your lips or cheeks until the anesthesia wears off to prevent injury to the areas.

Sensitivity and Soreness

Following an extraction, the site may be sore, swollen, or even bleed. Any bleeding that returns after the initial clotting should be treated with the gauze to promote clot formation once again. Over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen, should be taken as directed for pain and inflammation. Cold compresses can be used on the face to help with any swelling.

Dry Sockets

Occasionally, a clot does not form within the first couple of days or it forms and breaks down. This can result in a dry socket at the extraction site. This development can be painful for the patient and needs to be addressed by your dentist. They can place a dressing in the socket to prevent infection and protect the extraction site while it heals. Contact your dentist immediately if you suspect you have developed a dry socket.

Diet

For the first 24 hours following an extraction, eat only soft foods until you feel ready to resume your regular diet. Also, avoid very hot or very cold food and beverages while pain and sensitivity persist. Do not use a straw as it can disturb the clotting that is vital to the healing process. Alcohol should also be avoided. If possible, chew on the side opposite the extraction site until healing is complete.

Dental Care

Careful brushing and flossing should be done on the day of the procedure, taking care not to disturb the clotting and healing of the extraction site. Avoid the teeth closest to the site if necessary. Rinsing should be avoided for the first 24-48 hours. After the first 24-48 hours, you may start to gently rinse with salt water to clean the area and promote healing.

Source:   American Dental Association – http://www.ada.org/en

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