After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), or general anesthesia. These options and the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage and sinus complications) will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Riverside Oral Surgery Office Phone Number 530-223-1811.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety. We utilize modern monitoring equipment, and our staff is experienced in anesthesia techniques.
Do You Or A Loved One Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Our caring staff is here to help you if you have any questions.
What will I feel like after wisdom teeth removal surgery?
On the first day after wisdom teeth removal surgery, you may experience some minor bleeding and pain. You should cover your pillowcase with something, so you don’t get any blood on it. Each individual’s reaction to surgery varies, and the pain sensation can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. A variable amount of swelling can be expected following the surgery. This swelling usually peaks on the second day and should begin resolving on the third day. You can limit your swelling by using ice for the entire first day. The more ice you use on the first day, the less swelling you will likely have on the second day. Please remember to put ice on the first day, even if having a cold next to your skin is somewhat uncomfortable. On the third day, you will notice that your jaw muscles are stiff, and it is difficult to open your mouth normally. You can apply moist heat to your face on the second and third days allowing your muscles to relax and open wider. 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 your body time to heal before resuming an active social, academic, or athletic schedule. Most patients feel over the hump and are on their way to recovery in 3 to 5 days.
Are there any problems after the extraction of wisdom teeth?
As with any medical procedure, there can be complications or unanticipated results. Some complications that patients undergoing wisdom tooth extraction may experience include:
- damage to the sensory nerve that supplies sensation to the lips and tongue
- sinus communication
- dry sockets
After the procedure, our assistants will review your post-operative instructions with your escort. We ask that you follow these instructions closely, as they will make you most comfortable following your procedure. 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. With any medical procedure, there can be unexpected results. These can include delayed healing, infection and post-operative numbness or tingling in your lip, chin, or tongue. Dr. Burlingame will review relevant post-operative events with you and answer any questions during your office visit.
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 weeks or months. On rare occasions, it can result in a permanent sensation alteration similar to local anesthesia. 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 early, the root formation is minimal, and this complication is unlikely. However, if it does occur, it will usually close spontaneously. Still, we may give you special instructions to follow, such as avoiding blowing your nose for two or three days following the surgery. You can wipe your nose, but don’t blow your nose. You should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue if you have to sneeze. 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, don’t hesitate to contact the office. An additional procedure may RARELY be necessary to close the opening.
Dry sockets are the most common problem people experience after dental surgery. They arise due to premature loss of a blood clot in the empty tooth socket. This seems to occur more frequently in people who smoke or take 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 toward 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 placing a medicated dressing in the empty tooth socket is helpful. This will help decrease the pain and protect the socket from food particles. The effectiveness in alleviating the pain lasts 24-48 hours and may require dressing changes every day or two for five to seven days. Dressings are usually removed when 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 controls the pain, the socket will heal without a dressing. Following the removal of the dressing, an irrigation device may be provided to help 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 Riverside Oral Surgery Office Phone Number 530-223-1811.