Wisdom Teeth Post-Operation Steps to Follow
More than 80% of Canadians are going to need to have their wisdom teeth extracted at some point in their lives. It’s fair to say, wisdom teeth extractions are a common procedure. However, that does not mean the recovery is fast or painless. Here are some helpful hints below. Rest assured that our nurse will go over the post-op instructions with you during discharge and we always have a doctor-on-call if you have any questions or concerns.
Everybody that has their wisdom teeth removed is going to deal with some swelling. This is a normal healing process. The swelling is at its worst usually 48-72 hours after your surgery. Ice packs or gel ice packs should be applied to your face in the first 24 hours after surgery for it to be effective. It is also helpful to sleep with your head elevated with a couple pillows behind and be sure not to sleep on the side of the face where the surgery was completed.
Aches and Pain
You may have some aches and soreness after your surgical procedure. Dr. Aidelbaum and Dr. Chen will likely prescribe you medication to deal with discomfort. However, if you wish to stay off prescribed medication, there are alternative options.
We are an opioid-conscientious practice. While necessary to manage pain, we want to be cautious and mindful of the risks and benefits of opioids and narcotics that are commonly prescribed in dental and surgical practices.
We will discuss your options for pain control during your discharge. It helps to take anti-inflammatories such as Advil or ibuprofen. The combination of Advil and Tylenol generally works well for most dental surgical procedures.
After the operation has wrapped up, bleeding will be expected. When you spit, rinse your mouth, or swallow you may either taste the blood or see it in your sink. Bleeding is a normal post-operative event, so don’t worry too much about it. Small oozing of the blood is normal in the first 24 hours.
Keeping good pressure on the area is the most effective method. Make sure you moisten the gauze pad and bite down on the extraction site for 30-45 minutes at a time. Be sure that you restrict your movement as too much activity can also induce bleeding. Also dipping the gauze in tea or biting on a tea bag can also help with the bleeding.
Also avoid spitting, sucking on a straw, or rinsing vigorously as these will also induce bleeding.
Keep A Steady Diet
Ensure that for 1-2 days after the operation, you drink a lot of fluids such as water, milk, and electrolyte-enriched drinks like Gatorade or Powerade. The importance of drinking fluids cannot be overstated because your ability to eat will be minimal.
If you had conscious sedation or general anesthesia for your surgery, you should start with clear liquids diet first to avoid nausea and vomiting. Clear liquids include water, Gatorade, apple juice, etc. You can advance to full liquids if you feel well after the clear liquids, such as soup, smoothies, yogurt, etc.
Your best options for your diet include soups, eggs, puddings, pasta, or similar like items and consistency. Please avoid small foods like rice, seeds, and popcorn.
Other Helpful Hints
No heavy lifting, spitting, sucking, alcohol, or smoking.
There will be a hole where the tooth was removed if you had a dental extraction. This space will gradually fill in with new tissue. We will review instructions to care of this. We may ask you to irrigate the hole one week after the surgery. We will provide you with a squirt gun to flush out the lower areas for 2 weeks.
Bony spicules may often work out of the surgical site for weeks or months after the procedure.
Stiffness of your jaw muscles is normal. You may not be able to open as wide as you normally can, for about 3-7 days after the surgery.
Do not rinse or wish water around your mouth. The day after surgery, you can begin holding warm salt water in your mouth over the surgical areas and then letting it drool out into your sink passively (DO NOT actively spit).
Best of all, at Pacific Coast Oral and Maxillofacial Solutions, you can contact us any time if you have any questions or concerns post-operatively. There is always a doctor on-call at our office that can address your concerns or questions.
For more information about the recovery process from wisdom teeth extractions, contact Pacific Coast Oral and Maxillofacial Solutions today!