After Tooth Extractions


After most tooth extractions, we place a bioactive modifier (PRGF or PRF) to speed healing. As a side benefit, very little if any bleeding occurs. In the rare case in which the extraction site is oozing blood, placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and gently bite down for a few minutes to stop the oozing.

We also advise to avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction and to avoid the use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids as these behaviors could result in the loss of the blood clot forming in the extraction socket.


If we have placed PRGF in the extraction socket, swelling and post-operative pain is rare. If some swelling does occur, place ice on the effected area for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.

Pain and Medications

If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Pain medications work better if taken before the pain begins. Always try and take some pain medication before the anesthetic wears off then evaluate the need for future pain medications as healing progresses.

A good way to use acetaminophen and ibuprofen is to take small amounts of each at the same time. For example, for moderate pain, 650 mg of acetaminophen and 400 mg of ibuprofen works well; for severe pain, 975 mg of acetaminophen and 600 mg of ibuprofen works well.


Following most extractions, chew “away” from the extraction site as much as possible and avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. For multiple extractions, we recommend a soft diet for the first few days.

Brushing and Cleaning

Immediately after tooth extraction, avoid brushing teeth near the extraction site for one day. Resume gentle cleaning on the second day. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to contain alcohol and can delay healing.

Beginning 24 hours after the extraction, rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.

Dry Socket

Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull-throbbing pain that appears three or four days after tooth extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath. Also, the extraction socket may appear empty.

A dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the extracted tooth socket or when the blood clot has been dislodged. In such case, healing is significantly delayed. When a fibrin clot is placed in the fresh extraction socket such as with the PRGF or PRF technique, formation of a dry socket is extremely rare. However, it is always beneficial to follow classic post-extraction instructions mentioned above.

These guidelines have been shown to reduce the chances of developing a dry socket significantly.

If you feel that you may be experiencing a dry socket after tooth extraction, call our office immediately and Dr. Van Stralen will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to relieve the pain.


In addition to accelerating healing, PRF will stimulate your body to grow bone in the extraction socket. Without some type of intervention, the extraction socket will smoothen and the tip of the socket will fill in with bone. The top of the socket and35-40% of the width and height of the bone surrounding the socket will will be lost within 6 months to a year. It is always much easier to preserve bone rather than to regenerate bone.

Call us at Kenneth M. Van Stralen, DDS office Phone Number 703-317-3900 with any questions or to schedule an appointment.