After Surgical Removal of Wisdom Teeth
The surgical removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia in Dr Bowlers office, with or without sedation, or under general anaesthesia in hospital. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed.
Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured but to help control any oozing, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the hospital or rooms until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us on Charlestown Office Phone Number 02 4942 1211.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the wisdom tooth removal process, please click the image below. It will launch our educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about wisdom teeth.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety. We and the hospital utilize modern monitoring equipment and all staff looking after you are experienced in post operative care.
What Will I Feel Like After Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
On the first day after surgery, you may experience some minor bleeding and pain. You should cover your pillowcase with something so that you don’t 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 packs applied slightly damp for at least 48 hrs post op.
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 third day allowing your muscles to relax more 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 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 to 5 days.
Are There Any Problems After the Removal of Wisdom Teeth?
As with any surgical procedure, there can be complications or an unanticipated result. These can include delayed healing, infection, sinus communication and dry sockets Post-operative numbness or tingling in your lip, chin, or tongue is very commonly due to the persisting effects of the local anaesthetic used during your surgery. It may be possible on rare occasions that the numbness could indicate irritation to the sensory nerve that supplies sensation to the lips and tongue.
After the procedure, our nurses 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.
Dr Bowler will review all relevant post-operative events with you and answer any questions during your post operative 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 removed 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 anaesthesia 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 very rare occasions it can result in a permanent alteration of sensation similar to having local anaesthesia. You should be aware of this possibility before consenting to surgery.
The upper wisdom teeth are situated close to your maxillary 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, any opening will usually be closed as a part of the surgery.
We may give you special instructions to follow such as avoid blowing your nose for two or three days following the surgery otherwise the repaired communication can open up. You can wipe your nose, but don’t blow your nose. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. Pressure should not be created within the sinus area as you may dislodge the healing blood clot. If you sense this condition occurring after the surgery, please contact the office. An additional procedure may RARELY be necessary to close the opening.
Dry sockets continue to be the most common problem people experience following the simple extraction of a tooth but are rare following the surgical removal of a tooth. 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 on the third to fifth day.
Dry sockets cause a deep, dull, continuous aching on the affected side(s). Patients may first notice the pain starting in the ear radiating down towards 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 it is helpful to place a medicated dressing in the empty tooth socket. This will help decrease the pain and protect the socket from food particles.
The effectiveness in alleviating the pain lasts for 24-48 hours and may require dressing changes every day or two, for five to seven days. Dressings usually are removed when you have been pain free for 2 to 3 days. The dressing doesn’t aid in healing and the only reason to place a dressing is for pain control. If medication is controlling the pain, the socket will heal without a dressing. Following removal of the dressing, an irrigation device may be provided to help you to keep food particles from lodging in the extraction site.
Occasionally, post-operative infections occur. The most common cause is poor oral hygiene with food and debris accumulating in the third molar wound. 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 on Charlestown Office Phone Number 02 4942 1211.