Post Operative Instructions for Wisdom Teeth
GAUZE: At the end of surgery, there will be a gauze pack placed over the area of surgery in your mouth. The purpose of the gauze pack is to soak up any blood from surgery and to put pressure on the surgery site in order to stop the bleeding. When you get home take the gauze pack out.
SUTURES/STITCHES: Resorbable stitches will be used. They usually dissolve or fall out by themselves in 2-3 days. If you notice them stringing in your mouth, you can simply pull them out the rest of the way. Brush right over the sutures while cleaning your mouth.
BLEEDING: If the bleeding continues when you remove the gauze pack, replace it with a new one. Applying pressure is the only way to stop the bleeding.
SWELLING: A moderate amount of swelling is expected after most oral surgical procedures. Do not ice the area of swelling, this will reduce the blood flow to the area and cause prolonged resolution of swelling. Swelling will begin to decrease the third day after surgery.
EATING/DRINKING: You can start eating and drinking when the numbness wears off. Soft foods are recommended for the first few days. Avoid drinking through a straw, the sucking pressure can cause bleeding
ORAL HYGIENE: You MUST keep your mouth clean to promote good healing. Continue to brush and floss as usual. A soft toothbrush used in a gentle fashion is effective. The cleaner you keep your mouth the better and faster you will heal. Dr. Schultz may give you a syringe to irrigate the extraction sites to keep any food out. Start using the syringe two days after surgery. Usually only lower molar extraction sites need irrigating.
MEDICATION: Take prescriptions as instructed. Pain Medications may produce nausea and vomiting if taken on an empty stomach. If you are prescribed a steroid it is designated to help decrease your post operative swelling. As with any medication, if you experience problems stop taking them.
DRY SOCKET: Dry socket is caused when the blood clot is dislodged from the extraction site. It occurs most often in lower wisdom teeth. It is not known what causes the blood clot to be lost in some patients, but some are at higher risk than others. Smoking is the number one risk of dry socket. Smoking delays healing and increases your chances of getting a dry socket. Dry sockets usually occur the third or fourth day after surgery. It is a painful condition that causes earaches, headaches, or throbbing in the jaw. The only way to treat a dry socket is to see a dentist. Dry socket usually resolves in approximately one week.
Post-operative swelling 3-4 days after surgery is normal, however if you have any problems including increasing pain or increasing swelling, you should contact Dr. Schultz’s office immediately 907-586-9586.