Make the Most of Your Post-Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery

Tooth extraction is often a last effort if a tooth cannot otherwise be saved, but in the case of wisdom teeth, removal is necessary as a preventive effort. Many of our patients don’t have room in their jaws for these final teeth to fully erupt. Impaction, partial eruption, and difficulty keeping the wisdom teeth clean are common problems. Without treatment, wisdom teeth can cause alignment issues, foster tooth decay, and can lead to the development of cysts and other dental problems.

At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our expert dental surgeons and caring staff make the extraction process as easy as possible. Call today to schedule your consultation and to learn about your options for wisdom teeth removal.

Healing and Recovery after Extraction Surgery

Taking time out of your busy schedule can be difficult but is important to ensure proper healing. Most patients find that they are back to work, school, and other activities quickly. However, be sure to give your body the time it needs to heal and don’t rush into your usual routines. Returning to activity too soon can lead to complications after wisdom tooth removal.

How much time do you need for recovery after getting your wisdom teeth out? Basic timelines are provided below. Our team also provides personalized recovery recommendations before your surgery, so you know exactly what to expect.

  • Most patients will need at least 3 days of downtime and prescription pain medication. Don’t plan on attending work or going to school during this period. Many of our patients schedule their procedure for the end of the week and use the weekend as part of their recovery. This can mean less downtime if you’re worried about missing work or school.
  • You may still have some minor soreness after you’re able to return to work and school. Minor soreness typically lasts for about a week after surgery. This soreness should not interfere with your regular daily activities.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for at least 5 days after surgery.
  • Complicated wisdom tooth removal may require a longer recovery period.

Your recovery is an important time of healing. By giving your body the care it needs, you can feel confident knowing you have healed successfully and your oral health is protected.

After Wisdom Tooth Removal- What to Expect

Your recovery will progress through stages. For most patients, their comfort significantly improved after their second day of rest.

  • Right After Surgery – You’ll return home shortly after you have recuperated from sedation. You’ll need someone to drive you and help care for you, as you may be groggy. Bleeding is common at this stage, and you’ll need to change your gauze periodically. You can eat right away, even if you’re still numb. We recommend eating and taking your first dose of pain medication before the surgical anesthetic wears off, typically 2-8 hours after surgery.
  • The First Day – Rest as much as you can. You’ll be sore, but you can use pain medications to improve your comfort. Eat, rest, and take it easy. Ice packs can also be used to reduce swelling.
  • The First Couple Days – Most patients can return to daily activities after 2-3 days. You may be a little sore. Swelling and pain will decrease substantially each day after surgery.

Recovery Essentials- 3 Tips for Comfortable At-Home Care

Many of our patients are surprised by how quickly they heal after wisdom tooth removal. Our staff does our best to help you feel comfortable and rest while you are at home. These tips will help you have a better recovery from wisdom tooth removal surgery.

  • Call with any Questions – You aren’t alone during your recovery. Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns throughout the recovery process. We want to hear from you if you’re not healing as expected or if something doesn’t feel right.
  • Follow Your Recovery Instructions – We’ll give you detailed recovery instructions with tips for controlling bleeding, what to eat, medications, avoiding dry sockets, and how to carefully brush your teeth. Follow these instructions closely. We have created the recovery instructions to help you have a pleasant experience and avoid complications.
  • Avoid Common Mistakes – Many patients make the misstep of changing the gauze too soon or too often, waiting to take pain medications until the pain starts, not eating before taking pain medications, and getting physically active too soon. Avoid these common mistakes and you’ll avoid uncomfortable complications like nausea, infection, and pain.

Make wisdom tooth removal a more pleasant experience by using your recovery period to the fullest. Contact us to schedule your wisdom tooth removal at Hill Country Oral Surgery, top oral surgeons in Austin, TX.

 

 

Common Questions About Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to erupt into the mouth. They grow in the back of the mouth, often coming in during the late teens or early twenties. Unfortunately, many people don’t have room for them and need their wisdom teeth removed. This guide will answer some common questions about wisdom teeth removal.

When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Many people choose wisdom tooth removal between the ages of 15-20. At this age, your teeth may not be fully erupted, but wisdom tooth removal is often easiest before the wisdom teeth are fully developed. Some patients may need extraction at an earlier age to avoid damage to the surrounding teeth.  The best way to determine the timing of your wisdom tooth removal, or to determine if removal is needed, is to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. After an oral examination and x-rays, we can help you decide if and when wisdom tooth removal is needed.

If you have room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth and can keep them clean, they may not need to be removed.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are often malpositioned due to space constraints. The teeth may be unable to fully erupt or may be growing at an angle, pressing up against the neighboring teeth. An oral surgeon can help you determine if your wisdom teeth are causing problems or if they are likely to cause problems in the future. Here are a few reasons you may need to consider wisdom tooth removal.

  • Jaw Damage– Cysts can develop around new teeth. If left untreated, they can cause permanent nerve and jaw damage.
  • Sinus Issues- Some patients with wisdom tooth issues experience sinus pain.
  • Damage to Other Teeth– Wisdom teeth can cause alignment problems with other teeth. Cavities and decay on the wisdom teeth can spread to the surrounding teeth.
  • Cavities- Many patients are unable to properly clean their wisdom teeth, leading to cavities and tooth decay.

What Happens During Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Your wisdom tooth removal will be customized to your unique needs. During your consultation, we’ll discuss your individual situation and make plans for appropriate pain relief, sedation (if desired), etc. We typically remove all four wisdom teeth at once, minimizing your downtime and inconvenience. Come see us and we’ll create a treatment plan together.

What Is Recovery Like After Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Recovery times vary after wisdom tooth removal, often depending on the difficulty of your extraction.  Plan on at least three days of downtime with prescription pain relief. Take it easy and get plenty of rest during the first few days. Most patients are sore for about a week, but able to resume regular activities. Complicated removals may require a longer period of downtime.

Not all patients need wisdom tooth removal, but if you do, we’re ready to help. Call our offices today and schedule your consultation.

Can I Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted without Narcotic Pain Medications?!

Opioid treatment for postoperative pain has long been an integral part of treatment following oral surgery.  Although very useful and well tolerated by many people, these medications come with their own issues.  Before recently we did not have a lot of options for those patients who wanted to avoid post-operative opioid medication use.  With the advent of Exparel, a local anesthetic specially formulated to provide pain relief for up to 3 days following the surgery, WE NOW HAVE OPTIONS!

I am often faced with a myriad of situations for which patients would like to minimize the use of post-operative narcotics.  There is the patient who would like to return to work earlier with a clear head, or the student who needs to get back to the books for an exam.  Believe it or not there are those patients for whom narcotic medications do not even work, and some patients who just cannot tolerate the side effects.  If you are one of these patients, then we have an answer for you.

Exparel is administered at the time of surgery along with other traditional local anesthetics, and then the surgery is completed as usual.  The anesthetic has a special structure that prevents it from diffusing away from the surgical site, and allows it to be metabolized slowly over time.  The result is a constant level of anesthesia at the surgical site that lasts days, allowing you to avoid those times when the pain is at its highest level.  For many patients this can allow us to avoid opioids altogether.

Contact us today, for more information on narcotic-free recovery from wisdom tooth extraction and other oral surgery procedures.