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When restoration procedures such as root canal therapy, crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, it may need to be pulled, or extracted. 

Tooth extraction procedures today are far less painful than ever before, thanks to powerful anesthetics and sedatives. In many cases, a patient who has tooth pulled experiences little or no discomfort, and only minor bleeding. 

Before a tooth is extracted, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed with a topical/and or injectable anesthetic such as Novocaine. 

Patients with extracted teeth sometimes need to take an antibiotic, and at the very least, take precautions following the procedure to ensure that infection doesn't occur. 

Smoking, vigorous brushing and rinsing, and drinking liquids through straws are discouraged during the post-operative period because they hinder healing and may cause the wound to open. Cold compresses applied to the outside cheek near the extraction area can help reduce any swelling and promote faster healing.

POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS 

BLEEDING. Following extractions some bleeding is to be expected. If persistent bleeding occurs, place gauze pads over bleeding area and bite down firmly for one-half hour. Repeat if necessary. Biting on a wet Lipton tea bag for a few minutes is also effective. 

SWELLING. Ice bag or chopped ice wrapped in a towel should be applied to operated area—one-half hour on and one-half hour off for 4-5 hours. 

PAIN. For mild to average pain use any medication you would normally take for a headache or other pain. If a prescription for medication has been given to you, fill it at the pharmacy and start taking immediately. Remember to always take antibiotics until completion. All antibiotic pills must be taken as directed until the bottle is empty. 

FOOD. Light diet is advisable during the first 24 hours. Stay away from spicy foods or acidic foods. 

BONY EDGES. Small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots; if annoying return to this office for their simple removal. If any unusual symptoms occur, call the office at once. The proper care following oral surgical procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications