Call: (515) 232-6830

Post op extraction

Post operative care recommendations:  Tooth extractions (including 3rd molars removal)


For Sedated patients

  • Do not drive for 24 hours.  Although you may feel fine you are still impaired!
  • Do not leave the sedated patient in the car alone, or alone at home.  
  • Nausea may occur. 
    • If nauseated,  discontinue use of the the narcotic pain reliever.  
    • Drink / eat clear foods such as water, sport drinks, Jello,  applesauce… Avoid dairy products if nauseated.
    • If vomiting occurs, rinse gently with water.  Vomiting will not harm the surgical sites.
    • Usually the nausea will resolve with time.  If it persists please call your surgeon.


  • Some blood in the oral cavity is normal.  

  • Bleeding is controlled by placing a firm gauze pack directly over the site and biting with constant pressure.  

  • You may change the gauze every 30 - 60 minutes using the extras provided.

  • If the gauze is only spotted with blood you can discontinue the gauze use.

Brushing / rinsing / syringe

  • Brush away from surgery site.  You can choose not to brush and rinse the day of surgery.  

  • As the area heals, you can begin gently cleaning near the site.  Brush thoroughly elsewhere.

  • Avoid excessive spitting for the first several days.

  • Begin swishes with water, salt water, or the prescribed rinse the day after surgery.

  • Continue to rinse the sockets by swishing twice daily for 2-3 weeks, or until the sockets are closed.

  • If you were provided with an irrigation syringe begin using it 5 days after surgery.   Continue to use for 2-3 weeks or until the sockets are closed.

Ice / heat

  • For simple extractions, ice and heat applications may not be necessary

  • Apply ice packs to the side of the face for 20- 30 minutes per hour on the day of surgery.  You may use ice the day after surgery also if it is helpful.

  • Apply heat packs 2 -3 day out to help with soreness and stiffness.

Swelling / Stiffness

  • Swelling usually peaks 2-3+ days postop.  If you believe the swelling is abnormal or is increasing rapidly please call  the office or your surgeon.

  • Stiffness and limited opening is normal.  Again, if not improving or increasing please call.

Pain control

  • Take the medications prescribed for you as directed.  Taking with food may help to minimize stomach upset.

  • Some antibiotics may interfere with oral birth control pills.  Please exercise appropriate precaution.

  • If you are able to use NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve),  we recommend using ibuprofen as the main medication for pain / swelling relief over the first 2-4 days.   You will find better control if you take it as prescribed every 6-8 hours.

  • If needed, you can introduce other types of pain medications between the Ibuprofen doses.  Such as alternating Ibuprofen with over the counter (OTC) Tylenol (acetaminophen) or the prescribed hydrocodone/acetaminophen or other medication if you were instructed to do so.   In this way you can take a pain reliever every 3 hours.

  • Do not take  OTC Tylenol and the prescribed hydrocodone/acetaminophen (other acetaminophen product)  together. You will be taking too much acetaminophen.

  • Persistent nausea days after surgery is usually associated with narcotic pain medications.  

  • Do not drink alcohol, drive, or operate machinery while taking narcotic pain relievers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.  


  • A liquid to soft diet is recommended the day of surgery

  • Advance diet as tolerated, chewing away from the surgical sites.  Avoid hard foods such as chips, nuts, popcorn… over the first 2 weeks.

  • You may use straws 7 days after surgery.  


  • Rest quietly with head elevated the day of surgery

  • Begin advancing activity slowly as tolerated the following days.

Please call with any questions to us:

During business hours: 

  • Ames (515) 232-6830
  • Marshalltown (641) 753-4130

Or after hours please call the Surgeon who performed your procedure:

  • Dr. Rudman (515) 450-9552
  • Dr. Kazwell (515) 231-2573
  • Dr. Cho (515) 520-9924

If you have an urgent problem and are unable to reach your doctor immediately, please call (515) 239-2011.  Ask for the Oral Surgeon on-call.