At Padstow Dental Centre, providing our patients with a smooth procedure, good experience and comfortable recovery is very important to us when it comes to the often daunting prospect of having complex wisdom teeth removed.The first week after wisdom teeth removal surgery is generally when you can anticipate to experience the most discomfort but following the steps below will go a long way toward smoothing the path and getting things back to normal.
On the Day
Before the procedure you will be given a combination of IV sedation followed by local anaesthetic. This will alleviate any anxiety as well as any potential discomfort. The sedation also works to limit any memory of the actual procedure afterwards. You will feel you like you have woken from a deep sleep.
Depending on the complexity of the teeth being removed, you will likely feel some discomfort and possibly experience some mild to moderate swelling in the region(s). There may also be slight bleeding, oozing or redness in your saliva but we will ensure you are given the correct aftercare at the time and will check on you frequently during the recovery period where you are kept under observation. No significant pain will be felt in the first 3-4 hours as the local anaesthetic will still be active. You will be provided with mouth packs as well as a prescription for analgesics and antibiotics to continue at home upon discharge. Often we will arrange this ahead of the day when your booking is made so you don't have to worry about running around to pharmacies post procedure. You will need a responsible friend or family member under who's care we can discharge you to ensure you get home safely.
Our dentists will run you through some instructions to follow at home to speed up your recovery time and these will be provided in writing too.
Here are some quick points on the Do's and Dont's:
- Avoid strenuous exercise
- Do not spit
- Do not drink from a straw
- Do not smoke or consume alcohol
- Do not agitate with your tongue or toothpick.
- Take medication as instructed
Once your are home, the most important thing you can do to speed up your recovery time is rest. In a recent study researchers analysed groups of participants and measured their sleep cycle and recovery times. They found that sleep restriction delayed recovery by up to 24 hours. While resting we recommend you sleep with your head elevated using a pillow or two. This will help reduce swelling and throbbing
While at home a good way to stop the swelling is to apply an ice pack. We recommend placing the ice pack inside a tea towel and only applying it for 15 minutes at a time.
To keep your oral hygiene you should continue to brush gently the day after your surgery. This should be a very light brush followed with an antiseptic mouthwash.For the duration of recovery we recommend avoiding smoking and alcohol.
This is because they can delay healing and any form of sucking can lead
to more bleeding.
The first 24 hours you should be avoiding all hot foods, this is because it increases blood flow locally and can cause bleeding or dry sockets.
You should also be aiming to consume soft foods for the first 5-7 days. Some foods we recommend are yoghurt, ice cream, banana, rice, avocado, pasta, smoothies, purees or juices. For the first 24 hours ice cream acts as an ice pack as well. YES - You'd never think a dentist would prescribe ice cream!!
Issues to Bring up with your Dentist
If you find the bleeding does not stop we recommend contacting us so that we can see if there are any problems. Numbness is common and can continue for up to 6-8 hours. In some extreme cases numbness can last longer. In these cases contact your dentist to get some advice, especially if you have any trouble swallowing or breathing or have a fever.
Generally any symptoms should improve after 3-4 days of recovery. All pain and bleeding should be gone within the week.
Wisdom tooth removal is a very common procedure as these teeth are very frequently in the wrong positions which leads to multiple issues in both the short term and long term if not addressed in a timely fashion............even if they are not causing any immediate pain. Recovery on average takes 3-7 days.