Post-Operative Instructions: Wisdom Teeth

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Before Your Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions

SYRINGE: Start using the provided syringe 24 hours after surgery with warm salt water. Irrigate lower extraction sites after every meal until the socket closes. This may take 3-4 weeks.

Surgery for the removal of impacted teeth is quite different than the extraction of erupted teeth. The following conditions are not uncommon with the removal of impacted teeth:

  • Difficulty opening your mouth and swelling.
  • Numbness of the lower lip (this is almost always temporary).
  • Realignment of adjacent teeth causing some discomfort.
  • The development of sores at the corners of the mouth, which should be covered with a mild ointment, such as Vaseline®.

GAUZE: Remove the gauze pack in 30 minutes, provided this was not done in the office.

RINSING: Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery. After 24 hours, rinse gently with a solution of warm salt water every 4 hours and after every meal. Mix 1 cup of warm water with ½ tsp salt. Continue rinses until your post-op appointment. Salt water rinsing after every meal is essential for wound healing.

PAIN: You may take 3 (200mg) ibuprofen or Motrin® every 6 hours as necessary for pain in addition to your Vicodin® or Norco® as we have instructed. Do not take supplemental Tylenol® with Norco, only ibuprofen/Motrin. Pain medication should always be taken with food. DO NOT TAKE PAIN MEDICATION ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. To coat the stomach, eat soft foods such as a fruit smoothie, yogurt, scrambled eggs, pudding, applesauce, etc.

BLEEDING: A certain amount of bleeding is expected following the removal of teeth. If bleeding or oozing persists after the initial gauze is removed, place another gauze pack over the extraction site and bite down tightly for 30 minutes. Repeat this for up to 2 hours or until slightly oozing. If bleeding persists beyond 2 hours, please call our office. Slight oozing can be normal and may continue for a day or two, and your saliva may be light pink.

SWELLING: To reduce ordinary post-operative swelling, apply an ice pack to the face, over the extraction site, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Do this as much as possible for the first 2 days only. The swelling usually peaks on the third day. Do not apply heat within the first 48 hours.

LOCAL ANESTHESIA: The surgical area may be numb for 4-6 hours from the local anesthesia injection.

DIET: A liquid or soft diet is recommended for at least the first 24 hours. Do not disturb the sockets during the first day. After the first day, you can begin eating soft foods to your tolerance, avoiding things with small particles or seeds. Drink plenty of fluids but DO NOT USE A STRAW for 1 week.

SMOKING: Absolutely NO smoking for at least 48 hours. Smoking will severely delay healing.

DENTURES/PARTIAL: You may or may not be wearing your denture or partial when leaving the office. Most importantly, be clear on your instructions as to when a denture or partial can be worn. This varies for every patient.

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