After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
Sierra Foothills Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety. We utilize modern monitoring equipment and our staff are experienced in anesthesia techniques.
What Will I Feel Like after Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
On the first day after surgery, you may experience some minor bleeding and pain. You should cover your pillowcase with something so that you don’t get any blood on it. Each individual’s reaction to surgery varies, and the sensation of pain can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. A variable amount of swelling can be expected following the surgery. This swelling usually peaks on the second day and should begin resolving on the third day. You can limit the amount of swelling you will have by using ice for the entire first day. The more ice you use the first day, the less swelling you are likely to have on the second day. Please remember to put ice on the first day even if it is somewhat uncomfortable to have the cold next to your skin. On the third day, you will notice that your jaw muscles are stiff, and it is difficult to open your mouth normally. You can apply moist heat to your face on the second and third day allowing your muscles to relax more and open wider. Most of the time you will want to limit your activities for a few days. We ask that you follow your post-operative instructions closely. Doing so will make you as comfortable as possible during the first few days following your procedure. Please allow time for your body to begin healing before resuming an active social, academic, or athletic schedule. Most patients feel like they are over the hump and on their way to recovery in 3 to 5 days.
Are There Any Problems after the Extraction of Wisdom Teeth?
As with any medical procedure, there can be complications or an unanticipated result. Some complications that patients undergoing Wisdom Tooth Extraction may experience include: Damage to the sensory nerve that supplies sensation to the lips and tongue, sinus communication, infections and dry sockets.
After the procedure, our assistants will review your post-operative instructions with your escort. We ask that you follow these instructions closely, as they will make you most comfortable following your procedure. If you were sedated, you will be comfortable and drowsy when you leave the office. Most patients prefer to go home and rest with no other physical or scholastic activities planned for a few days. With any medical procedure, there can be unexpected results. These can include delayed healing, infection and post-operative numbness or tingling in your lip, chin, or tongue. The oral surgeon will review relevant post-operative events with you and answer any questions during your office visit.
Damage to Sensory Nerve:
A primary concern is a nerve within the lower jaw bone that supplies feeling to the lower lip, chin, and tongue. This nerve is frequently very close to the roots of the lower wisdom teeth. Having these teeth out between the ages of 12 and 18 usually provides shorter roots so that the nerve is not so close to the roots of these teeth. Occasionally, when the teeth are removed, and especially in older patients, the nerve can become injured. When local anesthesia wears off, you may experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin, or tongue. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve gradually over a period of weeks or months. On rare occasions it can result in a permanent alteration of sensation similar to having local anesthesia. We feel that you should be aware of this possibility before consenting to surgery.
The upper wisdom teeth are situated close to your sinuses, and their removal can result in an opening between your mouth and the sinus. Once again, if the teeth are removed at an early age, the root formation is minimal, and this complication is very unlikely. However, if it does occur, it will usually close spontaneously, but we may give you special instructions to follow, such as avoid blowing your nose for two or three days following the surgery. You can wipe your nose, but don’t blow your nose. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. Pressure should not be created in the sinus area, which may dislodge the healing blood clot. If you sense this condition occurring after the surgery, please contact the office. An additional procedure may RARELY be necessary to close the opening.
Dry sockets continue to be the most common problem people experience following dental surgery. They arise due to premature loss of a blood clot in the empty tooth socket. This seems to occur with greater frequency in people who smoke or are taking birth control pills. While both jaws can be affected, they usually occur in the lower jaw on the third to fifth day. They cause a deep, dull, continuous aching on the affected side(s). Patients may first notice the pain starting in the ear radiating down towards the chin.
The symptoms frequently begin in the middle of the night, and your pain medication regimen may not help. Treatment can involve changing your prescription. Occasionally it is helpful to place a medicated dressing in the empty tooth socket. This will help decrease the pain and protect the socket from food particles. The effectiveness in alleviating the pain lasts for 24-48 hours and may require dressing changes every day or two, for five to seven days. Dressings usually are removed when you have been pain free for 2 to 3 days.
The dressing doesn’t aid in healing. The only reason to place a dressing is for pain control. If medication is controlling the pain, the socket will heal without a dressing. Following removal of the dressing, an irrigation device may be provided to help you to keep food particles from lodging in the extraction site.
Occasionally, post-operative infections occur. This usually requires an office visit and clinical examination. Many times, just placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection. If it persists, the area will have to be drained and cleaned. Other temporary problems you may experience in the post-operative period include stiffness of the jaws, chafing around the corners of your lips, facial bruising, and blood oozing from the extraction sites. The post-operative instruction sheet we will provide should answer many of the questions related to these more common concerns. If not, don’t hesitate to call the office.
Sierra Foothills Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Patient Review By Caroline S
- Caroline S
Patient Review By Gavin L
The entire staff was fantastic. My son had his wisdom teeth extracted and it went smooth. The assistant, Jessica was amazing as well. She went over the post op instructions thoroughly, and Dr. Hill also called me later on to check on Gavin as did Jessica the next day.
- Gavin L
Patient Review By Samantha O
Thank you so much to the whole team. Everyone was so nice and got me in when I was in major pain. I would recommend to everyone!
- Samantha O
Patient Review By
The office, staff and doctors were just amazing. I will be sending all of my friends and family there
Patient Review By Emma W
My experience at Sierra Foothill Oral Surgery was fantastic from start to finish! When I went in for a wisdom teeth consultation with Dr. Harris, I was immediately impressed with how personable and kind he was. As he explained what he saw in my X-rays and how that would translate into what needed to be done to remove them, he broke it down into (for lack of a better term) "normal English" and made sure I understood what he was talking about. Additionally, he listened to me and noted my verbally articulated concerns and also was aware of when I would seem tense or nervous about something and addressed those non-verbal concerns as well. About a week after my consultation, I went in to have my wisdom teeth removed. I've been blessed with good health, so this was my very first surgery and I was particularly nervous about the IV--needles make me very nervous and the thought of having a needle in me for an extended amount of time was, to be honest, quite terrifying for me. However, when I arrived for my removal, Dr. Harris remembered my anxiety without any prompting from me, and helped distract and make me feel comfortable as the IV was put in. I was also impressed as I heard a voice from behind me introduce herself as Nurse Michelle and explain how she would be helping the doctor. I felt much more at ease knowing both people in the room by name and how they were going to be helping me. When I came out of the anesthesia, Nurse Michelle was very gentle and kind and helped me walk to the recovery room as well as helped my mom walk me to the car. Overall, throughout my whole experience, I felt that I was surrounded by people who cared about me and understood my needs and anxieties and went the extra mile to make me feel as comfortable as possible. A few hours after my surgery, Dr. Harris himself called me and asked about how I was doing and how well I was recovering. Again, over and over I just felt like everyone went the extra mile to be personable, go the extra mile, and give me the best experience possible. I most certainly will be referring Dr. Harris and Sierra Foothill Oral Surgery to both friends and family!
- Emma W
Patient Review By Rex C
You won't regret it!! Best surgeon and dental staff period!!
- Rex C
Patient Review By Claire B
Ran behind schedule which was annoying, but it's a doctor's office so that's inevitable
- Claire B
Patient Review By Amy C
Dr. Liberty was fantastic! Super nice and helpful.
- Amy C
Patient Review By Jace S
- Jace S
Patient Review By Angie M
- Angie M
Patient Review By Michelle S
Great experience at this office - thank you!
- Michelle S