After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under IV sedation, but it can be performed under local anesthesia or local anesthesia and laughing gas. These options, as well as the surgical risks (e.g., sensory nerve damage or 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 placed 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 as well as any necessary prescriptions that were not prescribed at your initial consultation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Novi Office Phone Number 248-348-2115.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety. We utilize modern monitoring equipment, and our staff is experienced in anesthesia techniques.
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 do not get any blood on it. Each individual’s reaction to surgery varies, and the sensation of pain 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 the amount of swelling you will have by using ice for the first 24–36 hours. The more ice you use the first day, the less swelling you are likely to have on the second day. Please remember to put ice on the first day even if it is somewhat uncomfortable to have the cold next to your skin. 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 day, continuing until the seventh day after surgery. This will allow your muscles to relax more and allow you to open wider. You will want to limit your activities for a few days and avoid exercise, rigorous activity, and heavy lifting for a week following surgery. We ask that you follow your postoperative instructions closely. Doing so will make you as comfortable as possible during the first few days following your procedure. Please allow time for your body to begin healing before resuming an active social, academic, or athletic schedule. Most patients feel like they are over the hump and on their way to recovery in 3–5 days.
Are there any problems after the extraction of wisdom teeth?
As with any medical procedure, there can be complications or an unanticipated result. Some complications that patients undergoing wisdom teeth extraction may experience include the following:
- Damage to the sensory nerve that supplies sensation to the lips and tongue
- Sinus communication
- Dry socket
After the procedure, our assistants will review your postoperative instructions with you and 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 but 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 postoperative numbness or tingling in your lip, chin, or tongue. Dr. Gulati will review relevant postoperative 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 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 a period of weeks or months. On rare occasions it can result in a permanent alteration of sensation, similar to having local anesthesia. We feel 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 at an early age, the root formation is minimal, and this complication is very unlikely. However, if it does occur, it will usually close spontaneously, but we may give you special instructions to follow, such as avoiding blowing your nose for 2–3 days following surgery. You can wipe your nose, but don’t blow it. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. Pressure should not be created in the sinus area, or else it may dislodge the healing blood clot. If you sense this condition occurring after surgery, please contact the office. Although rare, an additional procedure may be necessary to close the opening.
Dry sockets continue to be the most common problem people experience following dental surgery. They arise due to premature loss of a blood clot in the empty tooth socket. This seems to occur with greater frequency in people who smoke or are taking birth control pills. While both jaws can be affected, they usually occur in the lower jaw 3–5 days after surgery. They cause a deep, dull, continuous aching on the affected side(s). Patients may first notice the pain starting in the ear and radiating down toward the chin.
The symptoms frequently begin in the middle of the night, and your pain medication regimen may not help. Treatment involves placing a medicated dressing in the empty tooth socket. This will help decrease the pain and protect the socket from food particles. The effectiveness of the medicated dressing varies for each individual, sometimes lasting 24–48 hours, or possibly longer. Dressing changes may be required if your symptoms return.
The dressing does not aid in healing. The only reason to place a dressing is for pain control. If medication is controlling the pain, the socket will heal without a dressing. An irrigation device may be provided to help you keep food particles from lodging in the extraction site.
Occasionally postoperative infections occur. This usually requires an office visit and clinical examination. Sometimes use of an antibiotic for one week may help resolve the infection. However, most times, it is best to have the area cleaned out. This is a simple procedure that can be accomplished under local anesthesia with or without laughing gas. Other temporary problems you may experience in the postoperative period include stiffness of the jaws, chafing around the corners of your lips, facial bruising, and blood oozing from the extraction sites. The postoperative instruction sheet we provide should answer many of the questions related to these more common concerns. If not, don’t hesitate to call the office at Novi Office Phone Number 248-348-2115.