Post Surgical Extraction Instructions

If you need immediate assistance please page Dr. Neuhaus at

847- 421- 0085

(You may Print these instructions for your convenience)


Please follow these instructions as written. They will add to your comfort and hasten your recovery. Please read all the instructions thoroughly.



When you leave the office continue to bite on the moist gauze pressure pads constantly for 30 minutes. Change the gauze pressure pads every 30-45 minutes depending upon bleeding. When replacing the pads use one or two 2x2 cotton gauze pads, moisten them and fold them once together and apply gentle pressure over the extraction site by biting on the gauze. Take your first medications with water, if prescribed.




  1. No smoking
  2. No use of soda straws or carbonated beverages.
  3. No hot liquids (lukewarm coffee, tea or soup is fine).
  4. No vigorous rinsing with mouthwash or water ( very mild swishing is okay)
  5. No spitting - wipe saliva from your lips with tissue.
  6. No milk or dairy products if you tend to have an easily upset stomach.

Any of the above can cause increased bleeding after surgery. Some bleeding following oral surgery is to be expected. You will notice an oozing for 12 to 24 hours following the surgery. Pressure applied over the surgical areas by biting on moist gauze pads or moistened tea bags will decrease the bleeding.


Maintain an adequate diet by eating soft but chewable foods and cool or room temperature liquids. Chewing soft foods will help prevent muscular stiffness and you will feel better if you are well nourished. Examples of a soft but chewable diet are spaghetti, macaroni, casseroles, scrambled eggs, pancakes, custards, Jell-O, baked potatoes, tender cooked vegetables, vegetables in soup, noodles in soups. Avoid hard crisp foods such as raw vegetables, Fritos and Doritos.


From the time you arrive home following surgery until bedtime, remain in a sitting, semi-reclined well propped up position. The extraction site may ooze or bleed while you sleep. Place a towel over your pillow or chair to prevent blood from getting on your furniture.


Avoid physical exertion or exercise for 24-48 hours. The rule of thumb is that the first day you are feeling 100 % give yourself one more day. Exertion will increase blood flow and cause pain in the area of the surgery.



Swelling of the face following difficult oral surgery is to be expected and is normal. You may help prevent and decrease the swelling by the proper use of ice bags for 24 to 48 hours (no longer than 48 hours, please). Apply ice bag to face for one hour and then remove it for 30 minutes. Repeat this sequence over and over. Swelling may well last for five to seven days. DO NOT AT ANY TIME USE A HEATING PAD OR HOT PACKS.



Do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth vigorously for 12 hours following surgery. You must keep your mouth clean starting the day after surgery by using a soft tooth brush and rinse of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8 ounce glass of lukewarm water four times a day.



If you received any prescriptions, take them according to instructions. Do not let anyone else take your drugs. Take all antibiotics (if prescribed) until they are gone. Remember, no driving or operating heavy machinery while taking pain medicines.



If sutures were placed, it was for control of bleeding and to hasten the healing. You will be given an appointment for their removal in 5-10 days after extraction.


Explanation of Events That May Occur Following Oral Surgery

There are several problems that may occur post-operatively of which our patients should be aware.


  • Swelling can be anticipated and the patient may have some difficulty in opening and closing the mouth due to muscle tightness. There is a normal amount of pain and discomfort which will be helped with medication and time.
  • Following an extraction, the most unpleasant problem is known as dry socket (alveolitis). This problem occurs in about 10% of patients and unfortunately cannot be predicted or prevented. A "dry socket" indicates that the blood clot which was formed at the extraction site is no longer there which causes pain in the jaw, ear and neck. This is an uncomfortable situation which usually occurs the 2nd to 6th day after extraction. Recovery of a "dry socket" takes a week and a half to two weeks, during this period we can place a medicated dressing in the socket to help control the pain.
  • Another problem that may arise, but is not very common, is that of a persistently numb lip or tongue, especially on the lower jaw. The nerve that gives the feeling to the teeth, the tongue, and the lip runs through the jaw, goes right by, and many times through the roots of the third molar so that when the third molar is removed, the nerve is involved. Following the surgery, the lip or tongue can become numb. This is normally not a permanent situation, but it usually takes several weeks to months before the feeling returns. As stated previously, this situation does not occur often.
  • Oral wounds can become infected due to the high bacterial population of the mouth. Antibiotics are sometimes given for infection and for prevention of infection. Please call us if you experience severe pain or significant swelling of your jaw.
  • Tiny fragments of bone (bone spicules) sometimes work their way through the gum tissue and feel sharp to the tongue. In most instances they work out on their own, but it may be necessary for the doctor to help in the removal.

If any unusual symptoms occur, call our office at once. The proper care following oral surgical procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications.


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Wilmette Dental

344 Linden Ave.

Wilmette, IL 60091




Office Hours

Monday: 8:00AM - 4:30PM

Tuesday: 8:00AM - 4:30PM

Wednesday: 8:00AM - 2:00PM

Thursday: 1:30PM - 7:30PM

Friday: Closed

Saturday: 8:00AM - 2:00PM (alternating)



Outside our regular business hours, please note our emergency care information.


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