After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under IV sedation or local anesthetic. These options, as well as the surgical risks, will be discussed with you during the consultation appointment. Upon discharge your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in 7-10 days. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Loma Linda Office Phone Number 909-558-6288.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety. We utilize modern monitoring equipment. In addition to Dr. Zalsman’s anesthesia qualifications, we have a fully licensed Dental Anesthesiologist, and our staff are trained in anesthesia techniques.
What Will I Feel Like after Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
After surgery, you may experience some minor bleeding and discomfort. Each individual’s reaction to surgery varies, and the sensation of pain can cover a wide range. A variable amount of swelling can be expected following the surgery. This swelling usually peaks on the second to third day and should begin resolving after this point. You can limit the amount of swelling you will have by using an ice pack for the first day. The more ice you use the first day, the less swelling you are likely to have postoperatively. On the third day, you might notice that your jaw muscles are stiff, and it is more difficult to open your mouth. You can apply moist heat to your face on the second and third day allowing your muscles to relax and assist with opening. Most of the time you will want to limit your activities for a few days. We ask that you follow your post-operative instructions closely. Doing so will make you as comfortable as possible during the first few days following your procedure. Please allow time for your body to begin healing before resuming an active social, academic, or athletic schedule.
Are There Any Problems after the Extraction of Wisdom Teeth?
As with any medical procedure, there can be complications or an unanticipated result. Some complications that patients undergoing Wisdom Tooth surgery may experience include: Damage to the sensory nerve that supplies sensation to the lips and tongue, sinus communication, infection and dry socket.
On the day of your procedure, our assistants will review your post-operative instructions with you or your driver. We ask that you follow these instructions closely. 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.
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. We feel that you should be aware of this possibility before consenting to surgery.
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 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. Treatment can involve changing your prescription. 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, for five to seven days. 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 instruction sheet we will provide should answer many of the questions related to these more common concerns. If not, don’t hesitate to call the office at Loma Linda Office Phone Number 909-558-6288.