Complications can and do happen after tooth extraction. Lower your chances of common extraction complications by following your recovery instructions carefully.
Common Complications After Extraction
What complications are most common after an extraction? What can you do to avoid these complications? Learn more below:
- Poor Pain Control – Take your pain medications on a regular schedule. Don’t wait until you feel pain. We recommend taking your first dose of pain medication shortly after surgery before the surgical anesthetic wears off. Taking your medications on schedule provides better pain control and less discomfort.
- Excessive Bleeding – Changing the gauze too soon or too often can result in excessive bleeding. Moisten the gauze, place it over the surgical site, and leave it in place for a full hour. Replace the gauze every hour until it is pink upon removal and then discontinue gauze use. Contact us if you’re ever concerned about bleeding levels or if you have trouble controlling the bleeding.
- Nausea – Some patients are sensitive to pain medications. Take your medications with food to reduce the risk of nausea after surgery.
- Dry Socket – Dry socket is one of the most painful post-extraction complications. It occurs when the blood clot is dislodged too early. Dry socket can be very painful and does not respond to pain medications. Prevent dry socket by not smoking, avoiding the use of straws, keeping your mouth clean, and limiting physical activity. If you experience dry socket, contact us immediately. We can relieve your pain using medicated dressings.
- Swelling – Ice can reduce swelling for the first two days after surgery. Sleep in an elevated position. After two days, use heat to break up any bruising.
- Infection – Good hygiene is essential after an extraction. Use salt water rinses after eating and drinking (except water). Brush your teeth normally, but use care around the extraction sites. Some patients may need to take an antibiotic to lower their infection risk.
To avoid extraction complications, follow your recovery instructions carefully. We are here to help. Please get in touch by contacting Hill Country Plastic Surgery at 512-327-7233 if you have any questions or concerns.