Wisdom Tooth/Tooth Extraction Post-op Care

Activity
These instructions only apply if you have been given intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
The patient must be accompanied at home & supervised by a responsible adult for the remainder of the day after surgery.
Rest is recommended for the remainder of the day.
Keep physical activities to a minimum for the first week following surgery.
Restrictions
No alcohol consumption or driving for 24 hours after sedation/general anesthesia.
No breast-feeding for 12 hours after sedation.
All surgical patients should not smoke or consume alcohol for 10-14 days. Excessive smoking & alcohol consumption can affect healing.
Bleeding
Some oozing of blood may be expected from the surgical site for the first few hours/days, though minimal bleeding is expected.
If bleeding is persistent, keep gauze packs with pressure on the wound(s) in place for 3-4 hours or until bleeding subsides, changing at ˝ hour intervals as needed. Contact our office if you are concerned about bleeding.
If bleeding has not decreased in 2-3 hours, following these instructions, bite on a dampened tea bag placed directly over the surgical site. The tannic acid in the tea helps blood clot.
Sitting upright (head-elevated position) may help control oozing.
Swelling
The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved.
Apply ice to jaws for 20 minutes on/20 minutes off, for four to six hours after surgery.
Ice after 24 hours is not beneficial.
Maximum swelling is expected within 36-48 hours and may last for several days. (If a Medrol-Dospak has been prescribed, this should help/minimize swelling.)
Medications
Post-operative pain will be the most severe the day of surgery.
Use prescribed analgesics (pain medication) only as necessary. Advil/Motrin (Ibuprofen) or other mild pain medications should preferably be used if they bring adequate relief. If you need to take the prescribed pain medication, start off with half of a tablet and then move on to the regular dosage, if needed.
You may be prescribed anti-swelling medications. They should be taken as prescribed unless otherwise advised.
It is beneficial to take your medication before your numbness wears off.
Do not take medication on an empty stomach. Medication should be taken with food or milk products.
Do not consume alcohol or drive when taking prescribed pain medication.
Take your antibiotics as directed & until finished.
Women please note: Some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Please check with your doctor/pharmacist.
Diet
Remove gauze when eating or drinking.
You may initially eat soft, cool foods such as yogurt, pudding, milkshakes, or jello. After bleeding has ceased & gauze has been removed, warm & soft foods can be eaten as desired once an appetite develops. Drink plenty of fluids.
Avoid HOT liquid/foods for the first 24 hours.
Do not drink from straws for 24-48 hours after surgery.
Oral Hygiene
Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after surgery.
Vigorous rinsing should be avoided.
For areas around the surgical area, you should continue your normal hygiene, which includes brushing & flossing. (Be careful when brushing in the area where you had surgery.)
Dissolvable sutures may loosen with brushing & minimal bleeding may occur. This is normal.
Sinus Precautions
If the sinus is entered during surgery, please follow the instructions below:
No nose blowing for one week.
Take anti-histamine (Benadryl) to prevent sneezing/runny nose and such.
Special Considerations
Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. Therefore, immediately following surgery, if you are lying down, make sure you sit for one minute or so before standing.
Nausea/Vomiting: In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on small amounts of cola, tea or ginger ale. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods slowly, and the prescribed medicine. Smaller amounts of the pain medication (i.e. 1/2 of a tablet) taken more frequently with foods helps reduce the incidence of nausea.
Sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in 2-3 days.
Trismus (stiffness) of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a period of days. This is normal and will subside in a few days. After the first day, try to gently stretch your mouth open several times a day.
Bony edges: Small, sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are usually portions of the bone that surround the roots. They usually disappear gradually, but if they are annoying, return to this office for their simple removal.
“Dry Socket”: This is a painful condition arising 3-7 days after the removal of difficult or impacted teeth. It is caused when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site radiating to the ear may occur. Though there is a very low incidence of dry socket in our office, it can occur. If pain is not relieved by your pain medication, or is worsening, please call our office so we can better assist you.
There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If the fever persists and exceeds 101 degrees, please contact our office.
Sutures used during surgery usually dissolve in 7-10 days.
Your other teeth may ache temporarily. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
In some cases, bruising of the skin may occur. This is a normal post-operative occurrence.

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