Although this is a routine procedure, wisdom teeth extraction is a serious proposition for patients. While the recovery period is relatively short, patients still need to be prepared for some downtime, and they need to know what steps to take to ensure an uneventful recovery.
It’s important to work with your oral surgeon to develop a plan for your aftercare and to be prepared for symptoms that may occur and indicate a problem.
Discomfort and swelling are common symptoms after a wisdom teeth extraction, and they’ll resolve over time. You may also notice a small amount of ongoing bleeding immediately after the procedure. If this goes on for more than 24 hours, contact your oral surgeon. It’s important to work with your oral surgeon to develop a plan for your aftercare and to be prepared for symptoms that may occur and indicate a problem.
Patients can apply an ice pack during the first 24 hours after surgery then switch to a source of damp heat, such as a warm, wet washcloth, for the next two or three days. A warm salt water rinse can also help reduce swelling, although it shouldn’t be used until 24 hours have passed.
A softer diet is also recommended for the first few days after the wisdom teeth are removed.
One significant concern following wisdom teeth extraction is dry sockets, which occur when the blood clot that protects the empty socket fails to form or is dislodged prematurely. Certain activities, such as smoking or drinking through straws, may make dry sockets more likely, so you should avoid them in the first few days following your surgery.
Your recovery plan will likely include medications as well. Many patients can manage post-operative pain with over-the-counter painkillers, while some may need to turn to stronger prescription drugs. Your oral surgeon may also recommend prophylactic antibiotics to prevent an infection from developing.
The timing of the surgery may also influence your recovery. If you have your wisdom teeth removed before age 25, as is recommended by dentists, you will heal more quickly and you’ll have a lower risk.
As is the case with any surgery, recovery from wisdom teeth extraction will take some time. If you plan well in advance, you can increase your chances of bouncing back more quickly.
If you would like more information on the recovery process of wisdom teeth extraction, contact our dedicated team of oral surgeons, serving the Dallas metroplex, at 972-401-8301 to schedule a consultation.