After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), or IV sedation. Once the teeth are removed, gauze pads will be placed in your mouth to help control bleeding. You will remain under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your homecare kit will include postoperative instructions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Woodbury Office Phone Number 651-233-2140 or 715-690-3040.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety. We utilize modern monitoring equipment and our team is experienced in anesthesia techniques.
What will I feel like after wisdom teeth removal surgery?
On the first day after wisdom teeth removal surgery, you may experience some minor bleeding and pain. Each individual’s reaction to surgery varies, and the sensation of pain can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. A variable amount of swelling can be expected following the surgery. This swelling usually peaks on the third day and should begin resolving on the fourth day. You may limit the amount of swelling you will have by using ice for the first 24 hours. The more ice you use the first day, the less swelling you are likely to have on the second day. Please remember to consistently put ice on the first day even if it is somewhat uncomfortable to have the cold next to your skin. On the third day, you may notice that your jaw muscles are stiff, and it is difficult to open your mouth normally. You can apply moist heat to your face on the second and third day allowing your muscles to relax. You may want to limit your activities for a few days. We ask that you follow your post-operative instructions closely to help ensure a comfortable recovery. Please allow time for your body to begin healing before resuming an active social, academic, or athletic schedule. Most patients feel like they are on their way to recovery in 3 to 5 days.
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Are there any problems after the extraction of wisdom teeth?
After the procedure, our surgical assistants will review your post-operative instructions with you and your escort. We ask that you follow these instructions closely, as they will make you most comfortable following your procedure. If you were sedated, you will be comfortable and drowsy when you leave the office. Most patients prefer to go home and rest with no other physical or scholastic activities planned for a few days. With any medical procedure, there can be unexpected results. These can include delayed healing, infection, and post-operative numbness or tingling in your lip, chin, or tongue. Dr. Rodenburg, Dr. MacMenamin, Dr. Brown, Dr. Burns, Dr. Shearen or Dr. Tyler will review relevant post-operative events with you and answer any questions you may have.
Damage to Sensory Nerve:
A primary concern is a nerve within the lower jaw bone that supplies feeling to the lower lip, chin, and tongue. This nerve is frequently very close to the roots of the lower wisdom teeth. Having these teeth out between the ages of 12 and 18 usually provides shorter roots so that the nerve is not so close to the roots of these teeth. Occasionally, when the teeth are removed, and especially in older patients, the nerve can become injured. When local anesthesia wears off, you may experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin, or tongue. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve gradually over a period of weeks or months. On rare occasions, it can result in a permanent alteration of sensation similar to having local anesthesia.
The upper wisdom teeth are situated close to your sinuses, and their removal can result in an opening between your mouth and the sinus. Once again, if the teeth are removed at an early age, the root formation is minimal, and this complication is very unlikely. However, if it does occur, it will usually close spontaneously, but we may give you special instructions to follow, such as avoid blowing your nose for two or three days following the surgery. You can wipe your nose, but don’t blow your nose. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. Pressure should not be created in the sinus area, which may dislodge the healing blood clot. If you sense this condition occurring after the surgery, please contact the office. An additional procedure may RARELY be necessary to close the opening.
Dry sockets continue to be the most common problem people experience following dental surgery. They arise due to the premature loss of a blood clot in the empty tooth socket. This seems to occur with greater frequency in people who smoke or are taking birth control pills. While both jaws can be affected, they usually occur in the lower jaw on the third to fifth day. They cause a deep, dull, continuous aching on the affected side(s). Patients may first notice the pain starting in the ear radiating down towards the chin.
The symptoms frequently begin in the middle of the night, and your pain medication regimen may not help. Occasionally it is helpful to place a medicated dressing in the empty tooth socket. This will help decrease the pain and protect the socket from food particles. The effectiveness in alleviating the pain lasts for 24-48 hours and may require dressing changes every day or two. Dressings usually are removed when you have been pain-free for 2 to 3 days.
The dressing doesn’t aid in healing. The only reason to place a dressing is for pain control. If medication is controlling the pain, the socket will heal without a dressing. Following removal of the dressing, an irrigation device may be provided to help you to keep food particles from lodging in the extraction site.
Occasionally, post-operative infections occur. This usually requires an office visit and clinical examination. Many times, just placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection. If it persists, the area will have to be drained and cleaned. Other temporary problems you may experience in the post-operative period include stiffness of the jaws, chafing around the corners of your lips, facial bruising, and blood oozing from the extraction sites. The post-operative instructions we provide may answer many of the questions related to these more common concerns. If not, don’t hesitate to call the office at Woodbury Office Phone Number 651-233-2140.
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