An impacted wisdom tooth will involve a serious surgical procedure; thus, post-operative care is important to the success of your treatment. One of the best ways for this treatment to be free of pain, infections, and complications is proper maintenance and post-operative care.

Why is Post-Operative Care Important

After the third molars treatment, expect that the extracted site will bleed, you’ll feel a bit of discomfort, and possibly some bruising. Most patients are able to recover quickly particularly if the necessary procedure to avoid developing a dry socket is done.

When the tooth is removed, blood will flow through until a clot forms. Blood clot helps protect the underlying bone, tissues, and nerves on the extracted site.

Wisdom Tooth Aftercare

To avoid getting unnecessary complications, you need to follow the post-operative care procedures provided to you before you leave the office. Below are some of those:

  • Expect to bleed, be in pain, and discomfort, and swelling – these are normal as your body is attempting to heal the extracted site.
  • Do not spit, drink through a straw, or smoke for at least 48 hours after the extraction.
  • Do not perform any strenuous activity for several hours. Avoid unnecessary eating, drinking and talking.
  • Do not rinse your mouth for 24 hours after the treatment.
  • Ice – Put ice pack up against the cheek of the surgical site at 15 to 20 m minute intervals for one hour. Alternate if the extraction is on both sites. Do this for the next three to four hours. This helps to reduce the swelling.
  • Pressure – If there is bleeding you need to maintain pressure on the area by biting the gauze. Remove the gauze and replace it with a new set of gauze every 30 minutes or as needed. If you run out of gauze, tea bags are a great substitute. Continue biting on the gauze until it stops bleeding. Applying pressure on the extracted area greatly reduces the chance of facial discoloration and helps the clot to form.
  • Discomfort – Expect to feel some discomfort after the treatment; thus you’ll be provided with pain medication. Take your medications as directed to minimize discomfort.
  • Rinsing – For 24 hours and after the bleeding has stopped you may rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water. The saltwater solution is composed of a teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 oz. of water. Rinsing is essential as it gets rid of the food particles and debris from the socket area; thus, preventing infection and promotes healing.
  • Sutures – It is important not to pull your lip or sutures. If dissolvable sutures are used, you’ll simply wait for it to dissolve. If a non-dissolvable kind is used, you’ll be asked to return to the dental office 1 week after the surgery.
  • Eating – It is essential to eat as much nutritious food as you can and drink plenty of liquids. When the soreness is gone, you can slowly ease into your normal diet.
  • Post operative visit – Remember it is important to your dental health to go to your post-surgical appointment so your doctor can make certain the healing is progressing satisfactorily. Until your next appointment, maintain a healthy diet.

When to speak to a medical professional

Expect to feel pain and the extracted area will swell, but your condition will improve over time. You’ll need to contact the dental office if you experience the following:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Difficulty in opening your mouth

Whether you have a wisdom tooth removed or all four of them, it is essential that you follow the instructions given to you to speed up recovery time and to avoid additional complications. Don’t trust your smile and oral health to just anyone. See our without insurance.