After your treatment, you’ll need to adhere to our recovery instructions in order to heal quickly and without any complications. Below, we’ve provided you with some helpful tips to ease any discomfort you may experience, as well as an idea of what you can expect over the weeks following your procedure. If you encounter any issues or if you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Moore directly.
What to Expect
Bleeding: Bleeding or "oozing" may occur for the first 12-24 hours.
Swelling: This is normal following a surgical procedure in the mouth. It should reach its maximum in two-to-three days and should begin to diminish by the fifth post-operative day.
Discomfort: The most discomfort you may experience may occur for a few hours after the sensation returns to your mouth. It may gradually increase again for 2-3 days, then begin to diminish over the next few days.
Immediate Post-Surgery Instructions
Bleeding: Place gauze over extraction sites, and maintain pressure by biting for at least 30 minutes. Repeat as needed. Keep head elevated, and rest. Do not suck or spit excessively. (Also, please refrain from blowing into musical instruments.) NOTE: Some "oozing" and discoloration of saliva is normal. If bleeding persists, replace the gauze with a clean folded gauze placed over the extraction site, and maintain the pressure until the bleeding stops.
Swelling: Place ice or cold compresses on the region of surgery for 20 minutes on/off. NOTE: Ice bags or cold compresses should be used only on the day of surgery.
Smoking: Avoid smoking for two weeks.
Discomfort: Mild-to-moderate pain can be relieved by non-prescription Advil (Ibuprofen) or Aleve. For more severe pain, take the prescription pain medication as directed if prescribed/requested. Remember that these medications can take up to 30 minutes to one hour to take effect. If you are using any of these medications for the first time, exercise caution with the initial doses (start with ½ a pill or the lowest dose).
Diet: A nutritious liquid or mushy diet will be necessary for the first weeks after surgery. (Examples: soups, smoothies, ice cream, fine mashed potatoes, pudding, yogurt, macaroni & cheese, Ensure, Jell-O, protein shakes, and milk shakes.)
Physical: For the first 24 to 48 hours, one should REST. No hard physical activity for one week.
Activity: Do not drive an automobile or from engaging in any task that requires alertness for the next 24 hours.
The Days After Surgery
Brush teeth carefully.
Beginning 24 hours after the surgery, rinse mouth with prescription mouth rinse. Continue rinsing three times per day for seven days, then begin irrigating per dentist’s instructions (see #7 below).
If ANTIBIOTICS are prescribed, be SURE to take ALL that have been prescribed, AS DIRECTED.
Use WARM, MOIST HEAT on face for swelling, if any. Continue until the swelling subsides. A warm, wet washcloth or heating pad will suffice.
If SUTURES were used, they will dissolve on their own.
DRY SOCKET is a delayed healing response, which may occur during the second-to-fourth post-operative day. It is associated with a throbbing pain on the side of the face, which may seem to be directed up toward the ear. In mild cases, simply increasing the pain medication can control the symptoms. If this is unsuccessful, please call Dr. Moore.
RETURN TO YOUR DENTIST’S OFFICE five-to-seven days after the surgery for irrigation instructions. Very Important!
What Are Dry Sockets?
A dry socket is a term to describe an unpleasant, but not serious, post-operative condition or surgical side effect. It usually occurs 24-36 hours after surgery but can occur 48-72 hours later. An increasing amount of throbbing pain around the affected socket, which may radiate up to the ear or through the entire jaw, is an indication that you may have a dry socket. It is usually not accompanied by swelling or drainage from the extraction site. To alleviate the pain from a dry socket you may use the prescription pain medication. If it alleviates the pain then the dry socket is minor and will not require any additional treatment. If the pain medication does not affect the pain you should contact Dr. Moore. Dr. Moore may determine to treat the dry socket at the office with a medicated dressing, which will help relieve the pain.
Preventing Dry Sockets
Here are six helpful ways to prevent dry socket from developing after your wisdom tooth extraction:
Eat a liquid/mushy diet for two weeks after your procedure.
Limit hard physical activity for one week after your procedure.
Be sure to return from your post-op/flushing appointment five-to-seven days after surgery.
Quit tobacco use prior to procedure and until you heal post operatively.
Follow all post operative instructions you received from Dr. Moore.
Avoid drinking from straws.
Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Maintain proper oral hygiene and avoid vigorous brushing or rinsing.
When to Contact the Doctor
Bleeding is excessive and cannot be controlled.
Discomfort is poorly controlled.
Swelling is excessive, spreading, or continuing to enlarge after 60 hours.
Allergic reactions to medications occur, which are causing a generalized rash or excessive itching.
Contact 911 if the patient loses or has lost consciousness.