Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-Surgery Questions:

I take Coumadin (Warafin), or other blood thinners, do I need to stop taking it prior to having an extraction?
You will need to contact the doctor who prescribed this medication for you.  Let them know you are having oral surgery performed and are wondering if you should stop taking it prior to your surgery.  
I take a daily aspirin and/or Plavix, do I need to stop taking it prior to my surgery?
No, you do not need to discontinue taking this medication prior to having oral surgery.
I have a joint replacement: do I need to take antibiotics before my surgery?
Only if you have been advised to do so by your orthopedic surgeon. If necessary we can give you the antibiotics in the office.
How soon can I eat after having a tooth pulled?
As soon as you are hungry you may eat soft foods, warm soups and you may drink.
I am scheduled for surgery, but I feel like I am getting sick with a cold and may have a fever. Do I need to cancel my appointment?
Please call the office immediately if you are feeling under the weather and we will advise further.
I wear a denture, when can I use it after my extractions?
The doctor will advise you when you may reinsert your denture.
I am having wisdom teeth removed and have a sport meet the next day, can I participate?
You should avoid any contact sports for 24 hours after wisdom teeth surgery.
How soon can I go back to the gym after oral surgery?

It is recommended to 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 light headed, stop exercising.

What is dry socket?
Dry socket is an antiquated term used to describe a delay in wound healing after dental extractions. This condition is actually very rare in the present day and is not a practical concern for our patients. However if such a problem does occur, the doctors of Commonwealth Oral and Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center are expert in this management.
How do I know if I have an infection?
An infection will not generally develop until 48-72 hours after surgery. Signs of infection include >101 F, increased pain, increased swelling, difficulty opening mouth, difficulty swallowing.
I wear a retainer, when can I wear it after my surgery?
As soon as it is comfortable to do so.

Post-Surgery Questions:

What types of foods can I eat after having surgery?
We recommend soft cold foods for the first day. Examples include: ice cream, jello, pudding, yogurt, etc. We also recommend eating foods like scrambled eggs, pancakes, applesauce, luke warm soup. Avoid foods that would cause any irritation to your mouth. Examples: hot/spicy, citrus and food like popcorn or sunflower seeds.
I haven’t stopped bleeding since my surgery 4 hours ago, is this normal?
Bleeding is a normal process during recovery, in fact the wound may ooze for up to 12+ hours.
When should I stop using the gauze?
You should discontinue the use of gauze when the edge of the gauze is white and there is a red spot of blood in the center.
Should I use ice compresses or heat compresses to help with the swelling and discomfort?
You may use whichever makes you feel better during the 1st 24 hours after surgery.
There is a hole in my mouth where I had a tooth extracted, is this normal?
Yes, the tip of your tongue is very sensitive to any irregularities in your mouth. In a few weeks the extraction socket will close and the gum will become smooth.
Is it normal to have a bad taste in my mouth and a bad odor after an extraction?
This is a common problem during the recovery period and can be helped by using a non-alcohol mouthwash.
Oh no…my suture is hanging in my mouth and I think it’s falling out!
If a suture has been used, it will usually dissolve on its own. Loss of stitch any time after surgery is not significant unless it is accompanied by bleeding.
I feel very nauseous and I cannot stop vomiting. Should I stop taking the medication?
Please call the office if you have prolonged nausea and/or vomiting.
I am having increased pain 3-5 days after my impacted wisdom teeth were removed, is this normal?
Yes. The pain and swelling are a part of your body’s natural inflammatory response to surgery and will peak 2 to 4 days after surgery.
I have swelling weeks after my extractions; do I need to be seen by the doctor?
Yes. Please call the office if you have swelling 2-3 weeks post-surgery.
I have a white substance in the extraction site and I think it might be an infection starting.
Typically, what you are seeing is food debris collecting over the blood clot and not the signs of an infection.
How soon after surgery can I drive, play sports, swim or use a musical instrument?

You may do all of the above activities 24 hours after surgery and as long as you are no longer taking the narcotic medication.