What to do after your wisdom tooth extraction
Wisdom tooth extraction can sound like a scary process but not everyone will have the same experience as all wisdom teeth aren’t the same. People have the perception that it’s a deeply painful experience, but in most cases, wisdom tooth extraction is not that bad at all. The dentist will give you local anaesthesia which will make you really numb in that area and during the process you won’t feel any sharp discomfort – just some pressure during the tooth removal process. It is true, however, that you need to take the aftercare seriously, to prevent potential future complications.
Most patients recover quickly from wisdom tooth extraction, with a brief period of bleeding, swelling and discomfort being the extent of their issues. Your dentist will generally recommend the following procedures to minimise the discomfort and aid in the recovery time:
- Use an ice pack: for up to two days immediately after the procedure, apply a towel covered ice pack for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off in order to ease swelling and bruising effect.
- Expect some bleeding: If you experience some minor bleeding following a wisdom tooth extraction, don’t panic! That can sometimes happen. The bulk of it will happen immediately after the surgery, so keep a gauze pad over the extraction site for the first 30 minutes or so by applying gentle pressure. It’s the pressure that halts the bleeding and not the gauze soaking it up. If there’s some more bleeding after that, then a good life hack trick is to use a moistened tea bag and bite down gently on that for a half hour. If bleeding persists please call us on 0418970500 and we will give you the appropriate advice from there or attend your nearest hospital facility for immediate assistance.
- Take it easy for the first 48 hours after an extraction: Don’t hit the gym or sports field for the first couple of days after an extraction. For the first couple of hoursavoid eating as you’ll be very numb, and after that stick to soft, warm and cool foods and drinks taking care not to chew anything too excessively. By the second day you should be able to rinse using a gentle mouthwash, and carefully brush your teeth, while avoiding the surgical area.
- Don’t plan to drive: There’s the chance that you’ll be prescribed painkillers, along with the antibiotics that you’ll have for post surgery. It might be that those painkillers are powerful enough that you won’t be able to drive while on them, so if you do need to get around, organise for another driver ahead of time. The dentist will advise you regarding your medications once they prescribe them.
When should I worry?
The friendly team at Parra Dental will always be happy to take your call, but you should immediately call in if you experience any of the following:
- Ongoing and/or severe pain three or four days after surgery.
- Swelling that’s getting worse over time.
- Excessive bleeding that won’t ease.
- An elevated, persistent fever.
Those are signs that there has been a complication in the recovery process, and perhaps an infection that needs to be addressed immediately.
At Parra Dental, your recovery is important to us. After your surgery we will offer a complimentary review appointment to check the healing progress, this is usually scheduled when convenient for you approximately one to two weeks after the surgery appointment. We know that a wisdom tooth extraction procedure can be intimidating, but we’re here to make it as comfortable as possible for you.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks and complications. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.