Swelling after a wound is a healthy immune system response. Inflammation helps to prevent bacteria from entering the body through an open dental socket. The more complex an extraction, the more swelling can be expected. But once the blood in the socket forms a clot, patients shouldn’t really need inflammation, which is why it is appropriate to try to limit it by applying cold packs. To avoid damage from cold, only apply cold packs for fifteen minutes at a time, and allow fifteen minutes to pass in between each application. You should see swelling peak thirty-six hours after the extraction.
Once swelling peaks, it can be reduced through the application of hot packs. Again, the fifteen-on, fifteen off rule will prevent tissue damage. But if swelling continues after forty-eight hours, the patient should give us another call and come in as soon as possible. Discoloration is natural, but they should seek emergency help if the extraction site turns black or white. Complications are rare, but when they happen, we can see patients through safely if they’re intercepted quickly.
Dr. David Bishop, Dr. Dorienne Taylor-Bishop, and Dr. Alicia Reynolds operate Bishop & Bishop Dental at 8757 Georgia Ave, Suite 810, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910. To set up an appointment, call 301-608-9270 or visitBishop Dental and fill out a contact sheet.