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Post-Operative Instructions: Exposure of an Impacted Tooth


Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding, which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood, can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off as much as possible for the first 36 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.


You should begin taking pain medication before the local anesthetic wears off. Ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) 600 mg (3 regular strength over-the-counter tabs), take every 6 hours around the clock for the first 3 days, then every 6 hours as needed after that. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 975 mg (3 regular strength over-the-counter tabs), take every 8 hours around the clock for 3 days, then every 8 hours as needed after that. Note: You may take ibuprofen and acetaminophen together at the same time, or you may alternate them so that you are taking medication every 3 -4 hours.

You may be prescribed a narcotic pain medication. If you are prescribed a narcotic, you may take this with the ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Narcotic pain medications can make you nauseous and drowsy. Therefore, do not drink alcohol, drive a car, or operate machinery while taking narcotic pain medication.

Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.

Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day after the third or fourth day. If pain persists, it may require attention, and you should call the office.

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get lightheaded, stop exercising.

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