After Wisdom Tooth Removal

  1. If you went to sleep today for your surgery (had IV sedation) go home and rest when discharged from our office. Lie on your right side with your head elevated until all the effects of the anesthetic disappear.  An adult MUST stay with you for 12-24 hours after your surgery.  You may feel sleepy, light headed, dizzy or nauseated, have short term memory loss, or faint from the sedation.  No strenuous activity for at least 3 (three) days.  You must not operate any mechanical equipment or a motor vehicle for at least 24 hours (longer if you feel any residual effect from the anesthetic or are taking the prescription pain medication).  Do not use stairs by yourself.
  2. Bleeding:  Change the gauze every hour for 2-4 hours.  Stack 4-6 pieces of gauze, fold into a square, moisten slightly then place the gauze pack all the way to the back of the mouth, between the cheek and gums (that’s where the incision is), and close your mouth.  DO NOT place the gauze packs between the teeth or in the middle of the mouth.  If the bleeding becomes heavy, boil a tea bag, cool it, and then place as directed for gauze packs and leave in place for 1 (one) hour.
  3. For the next 5-7 days, DO NOT smoke, spit suck on straws, use commercial mouthwashes, drink alcoholic or any carbonated beverage/soft drinks.  No vigorous rinsing, probing at the surgical sites with your tongue, toothpicks, waterpik, fingers, etc.  Following these guidelines for 1 (one) week may help you prevent dry sockets.
  4. You may eat and drink as soon as you leave the office.  Soft, cold or cool drinks and goods such as Jell-O, ice cream, puddings, Carnation Instant Breakfast, iced tea, fruit juices, milkshakes/Frosty (eat with a spoon) are best until the numbness wears off.  If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal diet as much as possible following your physician’s instructions regarding your insulin schedule.  Advance your diet as tolerated staying away from peanuts, popcorn, potato chips, anything that is pasty, sharp or sticky.
  5. Your throat, chin, cheeks, lips and tongue may be numb for up to 8 (eight) hours.  Once you have had a least 1 (one) cup of liquid and/or food you may take an NSAID product (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naproxen, Aleve) as directed.  This may lessen your discomfort as the numbness wears off and decrease any tenderness and/or stiffness in your facial muscles.  The “SockIt” gel should be used before taking the narcotic pain medication and should never be used on the upper sockets. DO NOT TAKE EXTRA TYLENOL WITH THE HYDROCODONE PRESCRIPTION BECAUSE IT ALREADY HAS TYLENOL IN  IT.
  6. Apply ice packs, 20 minutes to one cheek then switch cheeks and continue this for 48 hours after surgery.  After 48 hours you may use ice packs and/or alternate with warm, moist compresses.  Whatever makes you feel better.  This will be like a sprained ankle; you may not see much facial swelling or have discomfort for 3-4 days so ELEVATE your head at night for 5-7 days.
  7. 24 hours after your surgery start holding warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt to 1/2 cup warm water) in your mouth, swishing gently after each meal and before bed.  You may run a low-grade fever between the 1st and 3rd day after surgery.  If your temperature goes to 101 degrees please call our office.
  8. Brush your teeth normally!  Just be careful at the surgical sites.  Do not spit.
  9. Narcotics will not be given after office hours.
  10. Please be assured that our interest in your case does not end with the completion of surgery.  If you have an emergency after hours, please go to the nearest emergency room or call our office for further automated instructions.