After Wisdom Tooth Removal

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Medications: Patients taking medication to relieve pain or other drugs that may retard reflexes should not operate machinery, cars, etc while taking these drugs.  Antibiotics should be taken as directed until the prescription runs out.

Surgical Procedures

Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding is expected and some bleeding should be expected for 24-48 hours.  If bleeding is persistent, it can be controlled by placing a piece of gauze (or moist tea bag) over the wound and biting firmly on it for 20 minutes.  Repeat if necessary.  DO NOT RINSE YOUR MOUTH FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS.  It is important that the gauze be placed directly over the site where the tooth was removed and not over the adjacent teeth.  The gauze must be bulky enough to prevent the upper and lower teeth from meeting when biting firmly.

If bleeding persists after proceeding as above, examine the surgical site for an extruded clot.  This is a mass of dark colored rubbery material which projects from the surgical site and may extend along the adjacent teeth.  If this is present, remove all of it wiping the area with a piece of dry gauze.  Then rinse the mouth with warm water to remove any further remnant of the extruded clot.

Pain: This is to be expected and will gradually cease.  This can be controlled by taking 600 – 800 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours if necessary.  If you have been given a prescription for relief of pain, use it as directed.  These medications should be taken with some food.  Avoid alcoholic beverages.  Pain after 5 days is usually due to poor oral hygiene and not irrigating the socket.

Swelling: Apply an ice bag to the face in the area of the surgery for periods of 20 minutes per hour for the first 24 hours after surgery.  After 24 hours, warm/wet applications can be used at the same intervals.  Swelling is not uncommon after surgery.  It is usually maximal in about 24-48 hours, and may last several days there after.  Bruising of the face and neck may occur within 10 days following surgery and should be no cause for alarm.

Mouth Rinse: Do not rinse the mouth within 48 hours after surgery.  After this time, use ½ teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water and rinse gently after meals for about 10 days.  Patients who have had impacted teeth removed should rinse after eating for at least ONE MONTH.

Starting day 3, use the plastic syringe to draw up warm salt water and place the tip of the syringe into the socket and irrigate until no further debris is visible.  Continue to do this after every meal for 10 days after surgery.

Diet: Soft and bland foods are advisable for the first 72 hours.  Good nutrition post surgery is essential.  Do not use a straw for drinking.  DO NOT SMOKE, smoking can retard healing.  Avoid crunchy foods such as chips, popcorn, etc.

Hygiene: Continued proper oral hygiene is imperative.  Normal care should be maintained, but the surgical area should be excluded from care involved when brushing, flossing, dental irrigation appliances, etc. for 1 week.

Fever: A low grade fever may occur following surgery and should be no cause for alarm.

In Case of an Unusual Disturbance: Call this office promptly.  When calling after hours, please allow time for the answering service to pick up your call.  Please keep your phone line free for return call.