After your procedure
If you receive sedation anaesthesia or general anaesthesia, you will be taken to a recovery room after the procedure. If you have local anaesthesia, your brief recovery time is likely in the dental chair.
Irrespective of which procedure you have had done, some basic tips apply that will have you feeling better quickly and ensure that your wound is free from germs.
As you heal from your surgery, it’s important to follow these instructions:
- Bleeding. Some oozing of blood may occur the first day after wisdom tooth removal. Try to avoid excessive spitting so that you don’t dislodge the blood clot from the socket. Replace gauze over the extraction site as directed by your dentist or oral surgeon.
- Pain management. You may be able to manage pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as paracetamol, or a prescription pain medication from Dr Ehlers. Prescription pain medication may be especially helpful if bone has been removed during the procedure. Holding a cold pack against your jaw also may relieve pain.
- Swelling and bruising. Use an ice pack as directed by your dentist or surgeon. Any swelling of your cheeks usually improves in two or three days. Bruising may take several more days to resolve.
- Activity. After your surgery, plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Resume normal activities the next day, but for at least a week, avoid strenuous activity that might result in losing the blood clot from the socket.
- Beverages. Drink lots of water after the surgery. Don’t drink alcoholic, caffeinated, carbonated or hot beverages in the first 24 hours. Don’t drink with a straw for at least a week because the sucking action can dislodge the blood clot from the socket.
- Food. Eat only soft foods, such as yoghurt or applesauce, for the first 24 hours. Start eating semisoft foods when you can tolerate them. Avoid hard, chewy, hot or spicy foods that might get stuck in the socket or irritate the wound.
- Cleaning your mouth. Don’t brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, spit or use mouthwash during the first 24 hours after surgery. Once you resume brushing of your teeth, be particularly gentle near the surgical wound when and gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water every two hours and after meals for a week.
- Tobacco use. If you smoke, don’t do so for at least 72 hours after surgery — and wait longer than that if possible.
- Stitches. You may have stitches that dissolve within a few weeks or no stitches at all. If your stitches need to be removed, schedule an appointment to have them taken out.
- Ongoing pain. Call Dr Ehlers’ rooms if you have a fever, or if your pain or swelling doesn’t improve.