The Christiana Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Having your impacted wisdom teeth removed is a serious surgical procedure, and post-operative care is extremely important! Read on for instructions on how to care for your sore mouth, and how to minimize unnecessary pain and complications.
Immediately Following Surgery
Keep a firm, yet gentle, bite on the gauze packs that have been placed in your mouth to keep them in place. You can remove them after an hour if the bleeding is controlled. If the surgical area continues to bleed, place new gauze for another 30 to 45 minutes.
Probe the area
Smoke (hopefully you don’t!!)
Participate in strenuous activities
Brush gently (but not the area)
Begin saltwater rinses 24 hours after surgery (mix 1 tbs of salt with 1 cup of water). Make sure to swish gently. These rinses should be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.
Enjoy some down-time!
Keep activity level to a minimum! Enjoy a day of couch or bed-rest, as being active could result in increased bleeding. Avoid exercise for 3-4 days, and when you do begin exercising again, keep in mind your caloric intake has been reduced so you may feel weaker.
As you’ve just had surgery, some bleeding will occur and it’s not uncommon to ooze blood for 24-48 hours after your procedure. REMEMBER-the blood you see is actually a little blood mixed with saliva, so don’t panic!
If excessive bleeding persists:
1. Try repositioning the packs. They may not be putting enough pressure on the site.
2. Sit upright and avoid physical activity.
3. Use an ice pack and bite on gauze for one hour.
4. You can also try biting on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes (the tannic acid in tea promotes blood clotting).
5. If bleeding persists, please call our office at 302-292-1600.
Unfortunately, some pain is to be expected after surgery. Try not to let the anesthetic wear off before taking your prescribed pain medication. Dr. D’Amico III, Dr. D’Amico, Dr. Kosa or Dr. Spencer will have discussed a plan to manage your pain, make sure you follow these instructions.
Eat nourishing food that takes little effort.
Extremely hot foods
Straws (for the first few days)
Chewing (until tongue sensation has returned)
Smaller foods that can become stuck in the socket area
Skipping meals—while eating may seem like a lot of work, you need your nourishment to be able to heal and feel better!
Day 2 and 3 Following Surgery
Swelling is a completely normal occurrence. Keep in mind, swelling will usually be at it’s worst in the 2-3 days after surgery. You can minimize swelling by applying a cold compress (covered with a towel) firmly to the cheek next to the surgical area. Apply the pack with 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off for the first 24-48 hours. Also make sure to take the medication prescribed by Drs. D’Amico III, D’Amico, Kosa or Spencer. This helps with pain and swelling.
Keeping your mouth clean
Keeping your mouth clean is very important! Continue saltwater rinses as often as you’d like, but at least 2-3 times a day. Begin your normal oral hygiene (remember to brush softly and don’t do anything that hurts)!
Everyone heals differently, but your timeline should look similar to this:
1. Day 1-2 will be the most uncomfortable and you will experience some swelling.
2. Day 3 you should be more comfortable and while still swollen, you should be able to begin a more substantial diet.
3. Day 4 and on you should see a gradual and steady improvement.
Other Normal Things
Discoloration. Bruising is a normal post-operative occurrence you may notice 2-3 days after surgery.
Stiff jaw muscles. You may find it difficult to open your mouth wide in the days following your surgery. This is normal and usually resolves itself within a week after surgery. Stretching these muscles may help to speed up recovery.
Since no two mouths are alike, do not take advice from friends (even well-intended advice could cause a healing set-back). The advice given to you from Drs. D’Amico III, D’Amico, Kosa or Spencer and the The Christiana Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery P.A. team are tailored to fit your needs. Please call us at 302-292-1600 if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery. Happy healing!
Whether you are missing a tooth, or at risk of losing many, dental implants may be a great solution for you. Dental implants are an increasingly popular fix for missing or dying teeth, and have many benefits.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are high tech teeth. The root of your current tooth is removed, and replaced with a screw attached to a ‘cap’ that looks identical to a natural tooth. Many people report higher confidence and comfort after receiving their new tooth.
What’s so Great About Them?
The cool thing about implants is that if taken care of, they can last for life. Usually all that needs to be replaced, if anything, is the cap. The other great thing about implants is that they can’t die like natural teeth. You still have to clean and maintain them like your other teeth, but no roots are any longer at risk of causing that tooth to fail. In addition to that, many implants can last a lifetime!
What is the Surgical Process Like?
The process is done either all at once, or in steps. This depends on the recommendations for your particular case. The first step is to remove the root of your natural tooth, and place the implant in its place. If there is not enough bone to place the implant, we may encourage you to have bone grafting first. The gum is then stitched closed and allowed to heal. This can take five to six months. The next step is to reopen the gum and place an abutment on the implant, along with a temporary crown so you can heal while the permanent crown is made for you. You then return to get your permanent crown attached in a few weeks. In other cases, all of these steps can be done in a single visit, but it depends on your specific case.
If you have any questions, please call our office for more information, we would be glad to help!
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