The Day After
Wisdom teeth removal is something many people experience in their lifetime. The majority of people who undergo wisdom teeth removal do so between the ages of 17 and 21, as this age is ideal for recovery and healing compared to having the teeth removed later in life. While the procedure is relatively straightforward and has a low risk of complications, there are a few things you should know to make your recovery easier. We’ve created a “What to Expect” guide for the days following the procedure, so you know what to expect, how to plan and ways to make your post-op experience easier.
What Is Wisdom Teeth Removal?
The wisdom teeth removal procedure is a surgical treatment designed to take out the wisdom teeth and the attached bone. Wisdom teeth can erupt (i.e., push through the gums), or they may be impacted, in which eruption has been blocked by another tooth. If the tooth has erupted, surgical removal is a little easier. If the teeth are impacted, removal may be more invasive.
That being said, both situations are common and should not be cause of concern or a reason to delay your wisdom teeth removal.
The First 24 Hours
In the first 24 hours after your extraction, it is important to focus on rest and recovery. You should take this day and the next few days off from school or work, and you should not drive yourself home. We recommend taking it easy and resting as much as possible. If you lay down, keep your head propped up above your heart.
During the first 24 hours of your recovery, it is critical that a clot forms over the surgical site. The clot helps to reduce pain and bleeding and lower the chance of infection. You may also need to keep gauze over the site for a few hours and use an ice pack for 15 minutes on and then 15 minutes off throughout the day.
Other dos and don’ts of wisdom teeth removal recovery include:
- Do not use a straw
- Do not smoke cigarettes or use chewing tobacco
- Avoid alcohol
- Do not drink or eat very hot or very cold foods
- Do not exercise or do any strenuous activities
- Brush and floss only as directed by Dr. Pollock
- Eat only very soft foods or consume a liquid diet
- Stay hydrated
- Take prescribed pain medication as directed
You’ve made it through the first 24 hours. Find out what else to expect along the way in our next blog or by calling Dr. Kevin Pollock in Rockwall, Texas, at (469)264-8921 to schedule a consultation.