The following information will cover important information regarding proper post-surgical care for wisdom teeth extractions. If you have been scheduled to have your wisdom teeth removed, it will be important to follow these instructions.
Patients who have undergone IV sedation should be carefully attended to by a responsible family member or friend for at least 6 hours after leaving the office. The patient cannot drive for 24 hours or while taking narcotic pain medication.
A certain amount of discomfort is to be expected with any surgical procedure. This varies with the amount of surgery required. Take all prescribed pain medication as directed by Dr. McPhillips.
Bleeding follows any surgical procedure and should not alarm you unless it is excessive or persistent. To control bleeding, we will place a gauze dressing over the extraction site(s) and have the patient apply firm pressure. You cannot apply too much pressure. This pressure will stop the bleeding.
These are a normal part of the healing process and, unless extreme, are of no significant concern. Early application of ice can be helpful in decreasing the amount of swelling, which peaks 72 hours after surgery. Place an ice pack to the surgery side of your face in 20-minute intervals for the first 24–36 hours as you feel up to it. (You do not need to do this overnight.) Keep your head elevated on additional pillows. This will also help to reduce the severity of swelling. If at any time you have concerns, please contact our office.
It is important to keep your mouth clean to reduce the risk of infection. Beginning the day after surgery, you can brush your teeth normally. If it is uncomfortable near the extraction site(s), use a dampened Q-tip® or gauze to wipe down the surgical site and adjacent teeth.
For your comfort, start with clear cool liquids after surgery, such as apple juice, teas, water. Your diet can be advanced as you feel up to it once the numbness wears off. There are no restrictions on foods you can eat, but eat what is comfortable. Always cool down hot foods or liquids for the first 24 hours. Our recommendation is to get back to a regular diet as quickly as you can. The more mobile the jaws are, the easier your recovery will be. Softer foods such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, meatloaf, and pastas are ok to start with. To help prevent a dry socket, do not use a straw or drink carbonated beverages and avoid alcohol for at least the first 3 days after surgery.
This is normal for the first few days after surgery due to inflammation and swelling in the muscles. It will be important to stretch the jaws after surgery to regain your normal range of motion. If desired, it is ok to chew sugar-free gum to keep the jaws mobile after surgery.
Unless Dr. McPhillips instructs otherwise, do not plan any vigorous physical activity for the first 3 days after surgery. Strenuous activity increases your blood pressure and will increase pain, swelling, and potential for bleeding.
Please avoid all tobacco products for the first 72 hours after surgery. Nicotine adversely affects normal healing and increase your likelihood of developing a dry socket.
These can include but are not limited to a fever over 101.3, discomfort not controlled by prescribed pain medications, prolonged or excessive bleeding, or excessive swelling. After regular business hours, contact Dr. McPhillips by calling our office answering service at (254) 965-2541 for any concerns.