"Can I eat and drink or will food get in the sockets and cause problems?"
Yes you can eat and drink whatever you can manage, in fact you need to be drinking plenty of fluids to aid your recovery and some of the medication you have been prescribed has to be taken with or after food. Don't worry about food in the sockets it will not get trapped as the holes fill in from the bottom to the top and it is easily expelled.
"Do I need to come back to have my stitches out or are they dissolving ones?"
It depends. We still like to make a check-up appointment one week later no matter what type of sutures you have in your mouth and the receptionist at the practice at which you had your oral surgery will ring you with that appointment time.
"Is it normal to feel nauseous and to vomit afterwards?"
No it is not. The technique of intravenous sedation generally will not produce nausea but some people will still feel nauseous from a combination of effects. If you feel nauseous you should contact me and we will review the likely causes and often prescribe something to stop the problem.
"Is it normal to still be taking painkillers three days after the procedure?"
No it is not normal, your need for pain relief should be much reduced or no longer necessary after three to four days. If you are still taking pain relief at this stage the most likely reason is that you have developed a dry socket. You should contact our office and we will arrange to dress the socket to provide relief from the pain and help the healing process resume.
"What is a dry socket?"
A dry socket is the most common postoperative complication after the extraction of teeth. It is characterised by a dull nagging pain along your jaw or up the side of your face to your ear. Often the lower front teeth feel funny or sore and it often wakens you from sleep. It is often worse in the morning or the end of the day. It is caused by the loss of the healing blood clot leaving an empty hole in the bone.
"Is it normal to still be bleeding a few days after having my teeth out?"
No bleeding will generally have stopped by the next day, although some people will notice a small amount of blood tinged saliva over several days. I f this is sufficient to cause you alarm or interfere with normal activities you should check it out with us.
"Is it normal for swelling or stiffness to return some days after the teeth have been extracted when previous to that all had been going well and the swelling had gone down?"
No. You should contact our office.
"Is it OK if a suture or stitch comes out earlier than I was expecting or within the first week?"
Generally yes sometimes sutures will let go a little early and no harm is done at this stage but if you have any concerns contact our office for advice.
"When can I resume exercise?"
There is no definite answer for everyone but as a general rule a day or two after your swelling has subsided, but use common sense or ring the office for advice. Exercise too early after surgery will make bleeding more likely.
"How long will I need to take off work?"
It varies from person to person. The average period of recuperation is from two to four days, but everybody is different. Please remember that healing is not always uneventful and sometimes it just takes longer for some people than others. If you have any concerns about how long things are taking to return to normal please ring for advice.
"Can I be back at work the next day?"
Yes after very minor procedures if there has been very little surgery and no swelling.
If the procedure has involved sedation and surgery you will need to take time out from work to rest and so hasten your recovery.
"What can I eat after surgery?"
you can eat and drink anything that you can manage but obviously soft foods initially then whatever you fancy, but be prepared to take a little longer and cut things up a little smaller. Food can be at normal temperatures but care with temperature is needed when your lips and tongue are numb after surgery from the effects of local anaesthetic.
"How long will it take for the drugs of sedation to wear off?"
The effect of the drugs is approximately two to four hours but you are not trustworthy and you should not drive a motor vehicle, make important decisions or drink alcohol for 24 hours following your procedure.
"Will me being a smoker make any difference?"
Yes. You are very likely to take longer to heal, have more pain and more postoperative complications than if you did not smoke. You should not smoke for at least three days after surgery. As a smoker you are very likely to develop the problem referred to as a dry socket so if you still have pain after 3 to 4 days you need to ring us so we may be of assistance.
"Can I drink alcohol after oral surgery?"
You should not drink alcohol for three days after having oral surgery.
"Why are my lips and tongue numb after the procedure?"
Your lips and tongue are numb from the effects of local anaesthetic injections administered once you were asleep to ensure you have no pain or discomfort. It will slowly wear off over the first two hours after the procedure.
"Is it normal to still have some numbness in my lip, chin or tongue several days after having wisdom teeth out?"
No but it is a well-understood phenomenon that was explained during the consent procedure prior to the sedation and the surgery. It is generally due to trauma to one of the nerves which lies close to the tooth that was removed and usually resolves slowly with time. This occurs in approximately 10% of people. You should contact us to make us aware of the situation or if you are concerned.
"Why use intravenous sedation versus a general anaesthetic for the extraction of wisdom teeth?"
Intravenous sedation is safer than a general anaesthetic, you generally recover more quickly and more pleasantly. There are some circumstances where a general anaesthetic is more suitable, but we do not carry out cases under general anaesthetic in dental practices for reasons of patient safety.
"When can I clean my teeth?"
You can clean your teeth the next day as far back as it is comfortable, clean carefully in the area of the surgery.
"Will the use of ice packs be of benefit to my healing?"
No. We believe ice packs will not benefit you and will also be most uncomfortable for most people.
"Can I take homeopathic remedies such as Arnica to help with my healing?"
Yes if you wish to, use the remedy in the suggested manner. Please do not substitute other prescribed drugs for the medication prescribed by Don Macalister without first advising him.
"Will the antibiotics prescribed make my oral contraceptive less effective?"
Yes they may. For the four days you are taking the antibiotics and for the next seven active pill days you should take other contraceptive precautions, as your oral contraceptive may be less effective.
"When should I start rinsing?"
Not for the first 36 hours, but you may clean your teeth, and eat and drink whatever you can manage.