After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth

You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. You will be given postoperative instructions prior to discharge from our office. You will be given a postoperative kit will include prescriptions and written postoperative instructions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Torrance Office Phone Number 310-325-7800. There will be a surgeon on call at all times (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the wisdom tooth removal process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

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What Will I Feel Like after Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?

On the first day after surgery you may experience some minor bleeding and pain. Individual reactions to surgery are variable.  Swelling can be expected following the surgery. It usually peaks on the second day and begins resolving on the third day. You can limit the amount of swelling by using ice during the first day.  You may notice that your jaw muscles are stiff and it is difficult to open your mouth normally.  You will probably want to limit your activities for a few days. We ask that you follow your post-operative instructions closely. Doing so will make you as comfortable as possible during the first few days following your procedure. Please allow time for your body to begin healing before resuming an active social, academic, or athletic schedule. Most patients feel like they are over the hump and on their way to recovery in 3 to 5 days.

Are There Any Problems after the Extraction of Wisdom Teeth?

Fortunately, complications from Wisdom Tooth Extraction are uncommon, however, as with any medical procedure, they are possible. Some complications include:

A representation of numbness caused by damage to a sensory nerve

Damage to Sensory Nerve:

A primary concern are nerves that supply feeling to the lower lip, chin and tongue. There is a nerve that is frequently very close to the roots of the lower wisdom teeth. Occasionally, when the teeth are removed, and especially in older patients, the nerve can be injured. When local anesthesia wears off, you may experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin or tongue. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve gradually over a period of weeks or months. On rare occasions it can result in a permanent alteration of sensation.

A diagram showing the opening that can occur bewteen your mouth and sinuses

Sinus Communication:

The upper wisdom teeth are situated close to your sinuses and their removal can result in an opening between your mouth and the sinus. If the teeth are removed at an early age, the root formation is minimal and this complication is very unlikely. If it does occur, it will usually close on its own. We may give your special instructions to follow such as avoid blowing your nose for two or three days following surgery. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth. Pressure should not be created in the sinus area. If you sense this condition occurring after surgery, please contact our office. An additional procedure may RARELY be necessary to close the opening.

A visual of dry socket that developed after the removal of wisdom teeth

Dry Sockets:

Dry sockets arise due to a premature loss of a blood clot in the empty tooth socket. This seems to occur with greater frequency in people who smoke or are taking birth control pills. While both jaws can be affected, they most commonly occur in the lower jaw on the third to fifth day. They cause a deep, dull continuous aching on the affected side(s). Although uncomfortable, dry sockets will resolve on their own with time (typically 7-10 days). Treatment is focused on pain management.

A diagram depicting an infection that occurs after wisdom teeth removal

Infection:

Occasionally, post-operative infections occur. This usually requires an office visit and clinical examination. Many times, just placing you on an antibiotic will take care of the infection. If it persists, the area may have to be treated by the surgeon. 

MISCELLANEOUS: 

Other temporary problems you may experience in the post-operative period include stiffness of the jaws, chafing around the corners of your lips, facial bruising and minor bleeding. The post-operative sheet we provide should answer many of the questions related to these common concerns. If not, don’t hesitate to call the office at San Pedro Office Phone Number 310-325-7800.