What Happens After Wisdom Tooth Removal
The removal of wisdom teeth is a common and routine procedure. Many family or cosmetic dentists can perform this procedure. Oral surgeons are specialized in the removal of wisdom teeth or any teeth in the mouth. So now that your wisdom teeth are removed what should you expect? Here are some questions you may have. How much pain will I be in? What am I able to eat? How many days do I take off work or school? Here are some helpful tips and answers.
Immediately after the procedure, patients are usually sleepy or drowsy. This is due to the effects of the sedation (anesthesia). Often, patients may sleep the rest of the day. Once the anesthesia has worked itself out of the body, patients become fully alert and will beginning returning to normal activity.
In the event that nausea or vomiting occurs, contact your doctor for advice. The nausea can be due to the effects of the sedation (anesthesia) or due to the prescribed narcotic pain medication. Consider switching the pain medication to a different type or contact your doctor for a medication for the nausea. Usually nausea will pass after the first day.
On the day of the procedure, discomfort and swelling will occur. The pain may progressively worsen but usually the prescribed narcotic pain medication will manage the pain. Discomfort or pain can last from one to several days depending on the patient. Maximum swelling occurs 2-3 days after the procedure. Ice to the face where the wisdom teeth were removed will minimize the amount of swelling.
There may be intermittent bleeding from the extraction sites. Placement of gauze over the site(s) with constant pressure for 20-30 minutes often will significantly reduce or stop the bleeding. If there are any concerns or questions, contact your doctor.
It is important to drink ample amounts of fluids for rehydration. Remember, you had an empty stomach for quite a number of hours before the procedure. Start with clear liquids like water, Gatorade or clear juices to start the rehydration process. If these liquids are tolerated without any nausea, then the diet can be advanced to thicker liquids and soups. Usually patients can tolerate clear soups on the day after the procedure. If soups are tolerated well, then consider soft foods and then eventually solids. Avoid, spicy and chewy foods. Every patient’s diet will advance at various rates. It is not a race to get to a solid diet. Once, there is adequate nutrition intake the recovery will be smooth. After 1 week, most patients will have started a solid diet.
It is common for food to become stuck in the lower teeth extraction sites. Gently rinse with warm, salt water to dislodge the food. However, do not spit for the first 3 days as this can cause a dry socket and cause bleeding. If food continues to get stuck in the extraction sockets after 1 week, your oral surgeon or dentist can provide a small syringe to irrigate the sockets. The extraction sockets can take 3-4 weeks to completely close.
It is highly recommended that all prescribed medications by your oral surgeon or dentist is taken as directed. Smoking after is not recommended. Some patients are able to return to work after 3-4 days of recovery. We hope that your recovery is smooth. Good luck!
Dr. Ronald Achong is a Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon. For more information visit us at www.oralsurgicalarts.com or contact our office at 407-207-8005. Serving the orlando and Clermont area.