After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

Do not disturb the wound. Usually an orthodontic attachment is bonded to the exposed tooth and there is no packing in place. If surgical packing (a 1/4 inch wide gauze strip) was placed in your procedure, allow it to remain. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it falls out do not be alarmed.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva may occur for 24 hours. If necessary it may be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding area. If an orthodontic attachment was place, please don’t bite directly on it so that it does not become detached.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack to the cheek in the area of surgery. You may apply the ice continuously for the first 36 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids, but do not use a straw. Liquids and soft foods should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed, however try not to bite with teeth which have had an orthodontic attachment bonded to them.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. If non-prescription medication (Tylenol; Advil) is not adequate, use the prescription medication given to you as directed.

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Beginning the day after surgery, brush your teeth as best you can and rinse with warm salt water (half a teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of warm water) 4 times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Vigorous exercise may elevate blood pressure and result in bleeding, so taking a couple of days off from competitive or contact sports is a reasonable suggestion.