After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Removing impacted teeth is a serious, and often necessary, surgical dental procedure. Following the removal of your wisdom teeth, caring for the site is very important. At Huronia Oral Surgery Group we can ease any unnecessary pain or help stave off complications that can induce infection or swelling. If patients follow the instructions given, or the information below, complications can be minimized.
Immediately Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery
There are simple steps that you can take immediately following the extraction of your wisdom teeth to assist in your recovery. We suggest:
|•||Keeping a wadded gauze over the extraction site. Occasionally, replace the gauze with a clean replacement for as long as you feel it is necessary. We recommend doing this for the first 30-60 minutes following your procedure.|
|•||Take prescribed medication. Part of healing is being at ease and resting. We do recommend taking pain medication as prescribed by Dr. MacNicol, Dr. Jackson, Dr. Gater or Dr. Mokhtari.
|•||For the rest of the day, take it easy. Do not try to return to work or other regular activities. Resume regular activities when you feel comfortable. For many patients, this may be after two days.
|•||Use ice packs as needed. Most patients report tremendous relief from the use of ice packs. This will also reduce swelling.
|•||DO NOT vigorously rinse the extraction site, this may disturb clotting.
|•||DO NOT touch the extraction site with your fingers or your tongue, we do not want to introduce any new or additional bacteria or unnecessarily open wounds.|
More Information following your Extraction
It is normal to expect a certain amount of bleeding following your extraction surgery. Small amounts of bleeding and then oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. If you are experiencing bleeding that seems excessive, we first recommend controlling the bleeding by first rinsing to remove old clots and then placing a clean gauze pad over the extraction site and biting down on it for about thirty minutes. Repeat as needed. If bleeding persists without stopping, you can then try biting down on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. Studies have found that the tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot through contracting your blood vessels. We also recommend minimizing any activity and sitting upright to assist in stopping bleeding. If bleeding continues or does not seem to subside, contact our office at Huronia Oral Surgery for further instructions.
Swelling following the extraction of your wisdom teeth is normal. It is not uncommon to experiencing swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes or sides of the face. Swelling is the body's normal reaction following a surgical procedure and is expected. Most patients report maximum swelling taking effect 2-3 days post surgery. Patients can reduce swelling with the continuous use of ice packs. Patients can use baggies filled with ice, or ice packs, which can be applied to the outside of the face where surgery was performed. We recommend the placement of ice packs for the first 36 hours following your procedure, after that amount of time, there is no added benefit. If you should continue to experience swelling or jaw stiffness several days following your procedure, there is no cause for alarm, swelling is not abnormal. Some patients have found that 36 hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.
There are steps you can take to reduce pain before, during and after the extraction of your wisdom teeth. Discuss with our office the possibility to taking medication before coming in to our office for your extraction. We can also offer various forms of anesthesia to use during the procedure and discuss what options may be best for your situation. Be sure to notify us of all medications you take regularly or have taken before surgery. We also will want to be informed of any known medical disorders, including diabetes and heart conditions. Immediately following your extraction, one of our dentists, Dr. MacNicol, Dr. Jackson, Dr. Gater or Dr. Mokhtari may prescribe pain relieving medication.
When you are experiencing severe pain, take prescribed medication as directed. Please note, that prescribed pain medicine can have side effects including making you feel groggy which can also slow down your reflexes. We ask that patients do not drive or work around machinery under the influence of pain medication. We also ask that patients avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more each day following your procedure. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call us at Huronia Oral Surgery.
For low or moderate pain, we may recommend patients take one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every three to four hours or Ibuprofen, (Motrin or Advil) two-four 200 mg tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours.
Following your surgical procedure, or being under general anesthetic or I.V. sedation, we recommend only liquids taken for the first few hours. Do not use straws. Sucking through a straw can disrupt the clotting process. Please drink from a cup or glass. After the numbing wears off, you may eat soft, easy foods, steering food away from the surgical sites. To assist in the healing, we recommend nourishment should be taken regularly. We also ask that patients be aware to not become dehydrated, you should ingest fluids regularly. We have found that most patients eat very limitedly for the for the first few days, you should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. We ask that patients drink at least 5-6 glasses of liquid each day. Try not to miss a single meal. Patients will feel better, have more strength, feel less discomfort and even heal faster if you continue to eat.
To reduce bacteria and the possibility of infection, do your best to keep your mouth clean. We ask that no rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following your extraction surgery. Gentle brushing may be done the night of your surgery if done with caution. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day especially after eating with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.
In some cases, patients have noted discoloration of their skin following swelling. The development of bruising, or an appearance of black, blue, green, or yellow coloring may appear. This is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues and is a normal postoperative occurrence approximately 2-3 days following an extraction. We recommend the application of moist heat to be applied to the area, this may speed up the healing of bruising and any color changes.
If one of our doctors, Dr. MacNicol, Dr. Jackson, Dr. Gater or Dr. Mokhtari has placed you on antibiotics, we ask that you take the tablets or liquid as directed. We sometimes prescribe antibiotics to assist in the healing process and to help prevent infection when we feel it is necessary. If an unfavorable reaction, including a rash, occurs from the use of the antibiotic prescribed, contact our office immediately.
Nausea and Vomiting
If, following your extraction, you are vomiting or having strong feelings of nausea, do not intake anything by mouth for at least one hour. This feeling should subside. After a length of time, start taking small sips of water, a carbonated drink, tea or ginger ale. Take small sips over a 15 minute period. Once your feelings of nausea have subsided you can then begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine once again.
|•||Some patients have reported numbness in their lip, chin, or tongue. Temporary numbness is no cause for alarm, proceeding with caution so as to not damage your soft tissues when numb. If numbness continues for an extended time, contact one of our dentists, Dr. MacNicol, Dr. Jackson, Dr. Gater or Dr. Mokhtari
|•||A slight increase in your temperature is not uncommon following the extraction of your wisdom teeth. Tylenol or ibuprofen should help decrease your temperature, contact our office if it persists.
|•||Use caution when going from lying to sitting up, take it slow, swelling around your mouth and in your oral cavity can increase your likelihood of feeling dizzy if moving quickly.
|•||Patients can occasionally feel and express concern about a hard object they feel at the extraction site. This is not a piece of tooth, but the bony wall of the extraction site.
|•||Discomfort in your lips is common following the extraction of your wisdom teeth. Patients may feel dry, cracked lips, or feel the effects of your lips being stretched to capacity, this is normal and will subside over the next couple of days.
|•||Due to swelling, some patients experience sore throats following their extraction. This will subside over the next few days.
|•||Some patients experience stiffness in their jaw muscles, known as Trimus, following their wisdom tooth extraction. This is not uncommon and should subside within the next few days.
|•||Some patients may experience a condition known as dry socket. This is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely. Dry sockets can be painful at the surgical site and even in your ear. Contact our office if this occurs.|
One Week After Extraction
Although most patients heal uneventfully following third molar surgery, some patients wish to be seen around a week following surgery and we are happy to do so. We will check the health of your extraction site, check the status of your healing, and remove your sutures. The removal of your stitches requires no anesthesia or needles it is done quickly and without discomfort.
There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. This cavity will gradually fill in over time with new tissue. We ask that you keep the area clean of debris and take special care to avoid infection. Continue to rinse with saltwater and a soft toothbrush in the weeks following.
At Huronia Oral Surgery, we know that your case is individual to you. No two mouths will react identically to dental procedures. We ask that you follow our directions and not follow well-intended advice from family or friends.
We can assist you in the recovery from your wisdom teeth extraction. For information on how to weather this procedure as best as possible, contact one of our four Oral Surgeons:
Bruce M. MacNicol, DDS, MS, FRCD (C)
Michael T. Jackson, BA, DDS, MSc, FRCD (C)
Andrew P. Gater, HBSc, DDS, FRCD (C)
Mohammad Mokhtari, HBSc, DDS, FRCD (C)
You can contact our Barrie, Ontario office by calling 705-302-0357.