After Care Instructions
It is important that you take care of yourself after the procedure. This page will give you everything you need to do for a quick and easy recovery. Call or text if you are having issues.
1. Bite on gauze. Change the gauze every 20-30 minutes for the first couple of hours. Lots of pressure will slow the bleeding faster. Bleeding typically lasts 1-2 hours but some light oozing can occur up to 24-48 hours. When resting it’s best to keep your head elevated slightly.
2. Apply Ice. For the first 24 hours its best to ice your cheeks. 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off is the best way to do this. After 36 hours the ice will not help with the swelling anymore. If you are still swollen after 36 hours its best to transition to heat.
3. No Rinsing. For the first 24 hours after surgery. Do not rinse your mouth. We want to develop a good blood clot where the tooth used to be. After the first 24 hours, you can begin to rinse 10-15 times per day or as needed. The best way to do this is with a small amount of Salt Water and be as gentle as possible NO SWISHING OR SPITTING! Just rinse gently and let the water fall out of your mouth. We want to keep the blood clot that formed in the socket to stay in the socket.
4. Soft Food Diet. For 5-7 days following surgery, we recommend a soft food diet. After each meal rinse gently as directed in #3.
Here are a few ideas of foods you can eat. Smoothies (w/o seeds), mashed potatoes, instant breakfast yogurt, pudding, jello, creamy soups, apple sauce, popsicles, ice cream, nutritional drinks.
5. Prescriptions. Research has shown time and time again that post-operative extraction pain is well managed by over-the-counter pain relievers.
—- Needed – Regular Strength Tylenol (Acetaminophen – 325mg)
—- Advil (Ibuprofen – 200mg)
Take 2 Tylenol 325mg and 2 Advil every 6 hours as needed for pain (you are taking 4 pills every 6 hours
If pain persists after 3 days and is not tolerable please contact our office.
6. Sutures. The sutures we use will dissolve in 2-7 days. If they dissolve earlier or later than that please don’t panic. As long as your bleeding is under control there is nothing to worry about.
7. Start the All OUT RINSE 7 days after Surgery.
— 50/50 Mouthwash to water
— Gently rinse lower sockets with ½ of a syringe nightly before bed.
— Rinse for 7 days or until the tip of syringe no longer fits into the extraction site
Post Operative Complications to be aware of:
If you are having extreme pain that is not controlled with pain meds, bleeding that is uncontrollable, difficulty breathing, itching, hives etc. please call the office or after-hours line immediately. However, some of the most common post-operative problems can be dealt with at home. Below are a few common issues and how to handle them.
1. Bleeding won’t stop. See #1 above, be sure that the gauze is being placed directly behind the last tooth and over the socket where the wisdom tooth was. Be sure to apply pressure and leave it alone for 20 minutes. If after 2 hours of repeating this and you are still having bleeding please call the office.
2. Uncontrollable Pain. Wisdom Tooth Removal is a complex surgery involving skin, muscle, bone, and nerves. Postoperative pain and discomfort is to be expected and is normal. Make sure you are taking you prescriptions as directed. If pain becomes uncontrollable, please contact the office.
3. Vomiting. Unfortunately, vomiting can be a common side effect of IV anesthesia. We will use anti-nausea medication in the IV to help with this. If you are still having issues vomiting don’t panic or worry. Sometimes vomiting can make the surgical sites bleed again. If this is the case for you, simply go back to #1 “bleeding won’t stop” and follow those instructions.
Dry socket is the most common complication that we see. It happens in about 5% of cases. Dry socket happens when the blood clot that was formed in the socket is subsequently lost. This can happen from any of the following
1- Rinsing too aggressively
2- Eating solid foods
3- Exercising or doing activities that raise your heart rate
5- Any activity that involves sucking, spitting, swishing etc
7- Certain medical conditions and medications
If you get a dry socket you will know it because the pain medication will not help with the pain. Typically dry socket happens around day 5-7 of recovery. If this happens to you please call the office and we will have you come in for treatment.
INFECTION OR SWELLING AFTER 7 DAYS
It is not uncommon for swelling to return after a week of recovery. Everything will feel good and then you will wake up with swollen cheeks and mild discomfort. This means
that we developed a secondary infection and need to start you on another round of antibiotics. If this happens to you please call or text the office.
Other Questions You May Have
How do I prepare for wisdom teeth removal?
1. Do not eat after 11:00 pm the night before, however, it’s encouraged to drink small amounts of only water up to 2 hours before your procedure.
2. Make sure you have a companion or designated driver. Wisdom teeth removal requires IV sedation and this can leave you groggy for several hours.
3. Sleep well the night before your procedure. Getting good rest will help stabilize your vital stats and ensure that your body will cooperate during the entire procedure.
4. Bring the necessary documents for financial purposes such as insurance cards, credit cards, etc.
5. Brush and floss before you come into the office. This will minimize the risk of infection and also help our dentists to efficiently perform the procedure.
6. Dress in comfortable attire and footwear. Accessories such as jewelry and contact lenses will need to be removed prior to the procedure and, ideally, should be left at home. wear a short-sleeved shirt
7. Avoid wearing makeup or dark nail polish because these can affect the observation of your vitals.
8. Make sure you have disclosed all of your medical information and history to our dentists. This will prevent any issues or contraindications with the anesthetics that are used. 9. If you have a general practitioner or medical specialist, it’s also a good idea to ask them if wisdom tooth removal will be safe for you.
10. Avoid smoking at least one day before you come in the office. Smoking is prohibited during recovery. Please plan ahead with alternative nicotine delivery methods that may include patches.
11. Prepare for a soft diet for a few days. Examples of soft foods to include in your diet are soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, scrambled eggs, pureed vegetables, and smoothies.
12. Cancellations require a 24-hour notice to avoid a $200 cancellation fee.
What can I take at home to alleviate pain post-extraction?
We recommend a non-narcotic course of pain:
- Motrin 600 mg
- Tylenol 3 hours later
- Motrin again later
This pain alleviation method avoids nausea during wisdom tooth recovery.
Will I have stitches where the wisdom teeth are removed?
After wisdom tooth extraction, there will likely be a couple of stitches where the tooth was removed. Your dentist will provide you instructions on how to care for the incision sites and stitches, however, the stitches themselves will usually dissolve on their own within 3-7 days.