Wisdom Teeth RemovalWhen a patient's wisdom teeth
need to come out, Elison Dental Center can help. In many cases, we
provide the service in our office but when necessary, we refer patients
to an oral surgeon. With regular exams, we follow the progression of
developing wisdom teeth and will recommend the best solution for the
After wisdom teeth have been extracted, here are a few answers to common question regarding after care:
What does recovery involve after wisdom teeth are pulled?
After having your
wisdom teeth removed, the speed of your recovery depends on the degree
of difficulty of the extraction (a simple extraction of a fully erupted
tooth versus a tooth impacted into the jawbone). In general, here's what
During the first 24 hours:
may occur for several hours after tooth extraction. To control it,
position a piece of clean moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and
bite down firmly. Apply constant pressure for about 45 minutes. A
moistened tea bag is an effective alternative. The tannic acid in tea
helps healing blood clots to form (blood clots function similarly to
scab over an open wound). Repeat this process if a small degree of
bleeding continues; if heavy bleeding continues to occur, contact your
dentist or oral surgeon. Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after
tooth extraction, avoid "sucking" actions (for example, don't drink
beverages through straws or smoke) and avoid hot liquids (such as coffee
or soup). These activities can dislodge the clot, causing a dry socket
in the area where the tooth was extracted typically occurs. To minimize
swelling, place a piece of ice, wrapped in a cloth, on that area of
your face on a schedule of 10 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off.
Repeat as necessary during this first 24-hour period.
such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), can be
taken for minor pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe more
potent pain relievers, if necessary.
that may have been prescribed prior to tooth extraction (to treat any
active infection around the wisdom tooth to be extracted) should
continue to be taken until the full prescription is gone.
Foods should be restricted to a liquid
diet until all the numbness from anesthesia has worn off. Eat soft
foods for a few days. Also avoid alcohol if you're also taking narcotic
Continue to brush your teeth,
but avoid the teeth directly neighboring the extracted tooth during the
first 24 hours. On day two, resume the gentle brushing of your teeth.
Do not use commercial mouth rinses --these can irritate the extraction
After 24 hours:
in the area of the tooth extraction should be treated with heat after
the first 24 hours of ice. Apply a moist warm towel to the area on a
20-minute on, 20-minute off schedule. Repeat as necessary.
Rinse your mouth
with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water)
after meals and before bed. Do not use commercial mouth rinses.
if used and if not of the self-dissolving type, need to be removed by
your oral health care provider in about 1 week. If you do require
stitches, ask what type you have been given.
Watch for signs of dry socket. This condition requires treatment by Dr. Elison.
Complete healing doesn't
occur for a few weeks to a few months following the extraction.
However, usually within the first week or two, enough healing has taken
place for use of your mouth to be reasonably comfortable in the area of
the extraction. Your dentist will explain what to expect in your
What are potential complications of wisdom teeth removal?
Two of the more important complications after having your wisdom teeth removed include:
is a common complication that occurs when either a blood clot has
failed to form in the extracted tooth socket or else the blood clot that
did form has been dislodged. Without clot formation, healing will be
delayed. When it happens, dry socket typically occurs 3 or 4 days
following the extraction and is accompanied by pain (ranging from "dull"
to moderate to severe) and a foul mouth odor. Dr. Elison will treat the
dry socket by placing medication in the socket.
is a rarer complication of wisdom teeth extraction. Wisdom teeth
entrapped in the jawbone are often close to nerves. Sometimes these
nerves can be bruised or damaged during the tooth removal process. The
result is a numbness (called a paresthesia) of the tongue, lip, or chin
that can last a few days, weeks, months, or may even be permanent.