Gentle Dental of Center City
201 South 13th Street, 1st Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107

What to Do Before and After a Tooth Extraction

Tooth Extraction

Your dentist has just delivered the bad news. That infected or damaged tooth has to come out. While it’s never a particularly pleasant experience, there’s much you can do both before and after a tooth extraction to lessen the pain and risk of infection.

Before tooth extraction: Let your dentist in Center City Philadelphia know about any medications and supplements you take, or medical conditions that put you at a high risk of infection, such as:

  • History of bacterial endocarditis
  • Damaged or man-made heart valves
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Impaired immune system
  • Liver disease (cirrhosis)
  • Artificial joint, such as knee or hip replacement

After tooth extraction: Your dentist at Center City Philadelphia will pack the tooth socket with gauze and you’ll be asked to bite down to lessen the bleeding. A few self-dissolving stitches may be used to close the tooth extraction site.

Once you get home, follow these important dental care guidelines:

  • Take it easy for a minimum of 24 hours
  • Continue to bite down on the gauze for at least three hours to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form. Replace soaked gauze as necessary.
  • Apply ice immediately after tooth extraction and at 10-minute intervals.
  • Don’t lie flat. Prop your head up on pillows to lessen bleeding.
  • Don’t rinse, spit forcibly, or drink from a straw for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, rinse with a solution of ½ teaspoon of salt mixed into 8 ounces of warm water.
  • Eat soft foods like yogurt, soups, and applesauce. Slowly add solid foods as the tooth extraction site heals.
  • Avoid the tooth extraction site when brushing and flossing your other teeth.
  • Take painkillers as directed by your dentist.

A certain amount of pain, swelling, and bleeding are normal after a tooth extraction, but notify your dentist in Center City Philadelphia if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain, swelling, or bleeding after the first four hours
  • Redness, swelling, or excessive discharge from the extraction site
  • Fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain

Generally, the tooth extraction site will heal in one to two weeks. After it’s healed, you can resume your regular dental care routine.

To learn more about tooth extractions from an affordable dentist in Center City Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Center City today at (215) 941-5634 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Center City Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Center City, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Center City. 

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