Whether your wisdom teeth are symptomatic or not, you can rely on your dentist or orthodontist’s expertise to diagnose any existing or potential problems. Normally, with the aid of a panoramic x-ray, the decision to remove or observe your wisdom teeth can be easily made.
After your wisdom teeth have been extracted, and the gums carefully closed you will be gently awakened and find yourself biting on gauze while being cared for by one of our highly trained surgery nurses. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home.
Prior to leaving the office you and your parent, guardian or ride will be given thorough written home care instructions. These instructions will also be reviewed verbally with you by one of our certified oral surgery assistants and you will receive a personalized post-operative kit which will include extra gauze, a soft bristled toothbrush, two ice packs, Chap Stick, and a card with the nurse who cared for you throughout the procedure. You should not operate or drive an automobile for the remainder of the day.
Thanks to our combination of improved surgical and anesthetic techniques, the level of patient comfort is greatly enhanced throughout the process, from the preoperative experience until complete recovery. Below are two sets of surgical instructions: our office instructions for the general removal of wisdom teeth and our instructions for the removal of impacted teeth.
INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWING THE REMOVAL OF WISDOM TEETH
IMPORTANT: PATIENTS WHO HAVE HAD A GENERAL ANESTHETIC OR INTRAVENOUS SEDATION SHOULD NOT DRIVE AN AUTOMOBILE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY.
1. BLEEDING: REMOVE ALL GAUZE PACKS 20 TO 30 MINUTES AFTER LEAVING THE OFFICE OR UPON ARRIVING HOME. PLACE ANOTHER STERILE GAUZE PACK ONLY IF THE BLEEDING CONTINUES. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following the surgery. Coloring of the saliva with blood is normal for a few days following the surgery. If the bleeding continues after a reasonable period of time, place a sterile gauze pack (folded into a 1 inch square) DIRECTLY OVER THE BLEEDING AREA AND BITE DOWN FIRMLY FOR 20 MINUTES. Repeat as necessary using a wet black teabag. DO NOT USE COTTON OR FACIAL TISSUE. If bleeding persists, sit in a relaxed position, with head up, and place the ice packs externally over the operated area. DO NOT SPIT FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS.
2. MEDICATIONS: Obtain prescriptions immediately. Take the prescribed medications as indicated by the directions on the bottle. Take the antibiotic prescription until all of the pills have been consumed. Use the prescribed pain medication (analgesic) only as necessary, substituting with Motrin or other mild analgesics if they bring adequate relief. All pain medications should be taken with milk or after eating. The prescribed pain medication may cause nausea and constipation. DO NOT CONSUME ANY ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES OR DRIVE AN AUTOMOBILE WHEN TAKING PRESCRIBED PAIN MEDICATION.
3. ICE PACKS: Use ice packs on the operated areas (externally) for the first 24 hours. Apply ice packs for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off.
4. DIET: Your diet may consist of any food that can be chewed and successfully swallowed. DRINK PLENTY OF LIQUIDS. Avoid hot foods and hot liquids for 3 – 4 days.
5. ORAL HYGIENE: Vigorous mouth washing may stimulate bleeding. Therefore, DO NOT RINSE THE MOUTH FOR AT LEAST 6 HOURS FOLLOWING SURGERY. You may then gently rinse the mouth with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon salt to an 8 ounce glass of warm water) or diluted mouthwash 3-4 times a day for one week. If bleeding continues, stop all mouth rinsing and follow the instructions regarding bleeding. The teeth should be brushed with toothpaste. Good oral hygiene will reduce the possibility of infection.
6. STIFFNESS IN JAW: “Trismus” (tightness) of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth. If the muscles show a tendency to become stiff, chewing gum at intervals will help relax tension and bring relief. Do not begin chewing gum until the day after surgery.
7. SMOKING: It is strongly recommended that cigarette smoking be eliminated for one week prior to and after the surgery. Smoking at anytime will increase the risk of complications, including a dry socket.
1. The operated area may become swollen. The greatest amount of swelling will occur approximately 1 – 4 days after surgery. Moderate physical activity with proper use of ice packs will help to reduce the swelling, and having your head elevated with pillows while sleeping has also shown to reduce swelling.
2. You may have a slight earache for several days.
3. You may develop a sore throat.
4. Teeth adjacent to the surgery area may ache. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
5. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours after the surgery. If the elevated temperature continues, drink plenty of fluids and telephone this office.
6. If the corners of mouth or lips become dry or chapped, keep area moist with cream or ointment.
7. The area where the teeth were removed should be gently rinsed following meals with warm salt water or diluted mouthwash. These areas will gradually fill with new tissue.
8. Do not disturb the healing tissue. Its grayish or yellowish appearance and slight odor do not indicate infection. Keep fingers, toothpicks, or other objects that may cause infection out of the mouth.
9. Do not use drinking straws, a water pik or floss for one week after the surgery unless otherwise advised by this office.
10. Dissolvable stitches are generally used. These stitches will probably dissolve or fall out before your postoperative appointment.
11. Activity level should be minimal the day of surgery. For one week following surgery, light exercise only is advised.
PLEASE CONTACT THIS OFFICE IF ANY DOUBT ARISES AS TO YOUR PROGRESS AND RECOVERY.
Patients can download our office removal of impacted teeth surgery instructions form here.