Post-Op Instructions Following Wisdom Teeth (3rd Molars) Removal
- Immediately following surgery, maintain pressure on the surgical area by biting down on the provided gauze pad or roll until the bleeding stops. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following a surgical procedure. Placing the gauze pad over the area and biting firmly will help prevent excessive bleeding. Replace the gauze as necessary until the bleeding stops.
- For a few days following surgery, you may become dizzy when getting up. Sit up slowly, and give yourself a minute to adjust before getting up and walking.
- Avoid vigorous activities for three to four days after surgery. You may go back to your normal routine as tolerated.
- Please fill any prescriptions you have been given and take as directed. If you have been prescribed pain medication other than aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), do not drive, operate heavy equipment, work around machinery or tools, or engage in any other activity that may be unsafe when groggy, as your reflexes and judgment will be affected by the medication.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection. If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the medicine as directed.
- Swelling and stiffness are to be expected the first 24 hours after surgery. Swelling around the face, eyes, and surgical site is not uncommon and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. Applying a cold compress to the face near the extraction site will help minimize swelling. If using an ice pack, please do not apply ice directly to your skin but place a cloth between the ice and your skin at all times. You may apply the cold compress for up to 20 minutes on and at least 20 minutes off as needed. After 36 hours the cold compress will have no further impact on swelling. After this period, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face can help reduce swelling.
- For 24-48 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, drink from a bottle, rinse, spit, or smoke. Avoid hot and spicy foods, carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
- During the first few days after surgery, restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies.
- Do not rinse, spit, or brush your teeth on the day of surgery. Resume brushing the day after surgery, avoiding surgical sites with the toothbrush.
- After brushing, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt mixed with eight ounces of warm water). Start the salt water rinse the day after surgery and repeat 3 times a day for 7-10 days. This will help keep the surgical areas clean and will also help dissolve the sutures.
- Please do not use the irrigating syringe for the first five days. After five days, fill the syringe with warm salt water and flush out the socket. This will flush out any food or debris.
- If you are experiencing numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue, be aware that this is usually temporary in nature and normal feeling should return after a few days. Until then, please be cautious while eating and chewing in order to avoid accidentally biting your tongue, cheek or lip.
- A dry socket can develop when blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the walls of the tooth socket. Symptoms of a dry socket include throbbing pain at the surgical site, the ear, chin, adjacent teeth, and/or jaw. These symptoms indicate a dry socket when they occur three to four days following surgery and do not respond to pain medication.
- Please call our office if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding or swelling, or if you have any questions or concerns. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
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