Birth Control, Dry Socket, and Wisdom Tooth Extraction

anesthesia for tooth extractionAs you prepare to have your wisdom teeth extracted in Chicago, there are a number of things to consider. Will I be able to be comfortably sedated for my tooth extraction? How can I avoid complications both during and after the procedure has been completed?

Understanding what you should expect and following your Downtown Chicago oral surgeon’s instructions can help to ensure that your procedure is as pleasant as possible and that you experience a speedy recovery.

For most patients, the procedure for extracting the wisdom teeth is painless and non-eventful. With advanced techniques, digital imaging, sedation dentistry, and effective anesthesia, the teeth can be removed smoothly with little or no discomfort.

More often, complications during the healing process are the cause of discomfort. A condition known as dry socket (fibrinolytic alveolitis), in which the blood clot disintegrates or dislodges from the extraction site and does not reform, can be the source of moderate to severe discomfort. In the absence of the blood clot, chemical pain mediators are released/activated and the jaw bone and “nerve endings” are exposed. Patients may notice prolonged bleeding as well as a delay in the healing process. 

Taking steps to promote health and healing will be helpful in preventing the onset of dry socket and keeping you comfortable.

Although this condition may seem frightening and uncomfortable, there is no need for alarm. The incidence rate for developing dry socket is typically less than 5%, and the condition is more likely to occur with the removal of the lower wisdom teeth than any other extractions. Once dry socket has occurred, you may expect an additional 3-4 weeks of healing time.

Taking steps to promote health and healing will be helpful in preventing the onset of dry socket and keeping you comfortable. Avoiding common pitfalls like smoking, forceful spitting and vigorous rinsing, carbonation, and drinking through a straw can help to preserve the blood clot.

For women, taking oral contraceptives can also increase the risk. Scheduling your treatment when estrogen levels are lowest or inactive (during the last week of the menstrual cycle) has been found to reduce the risk dramatically.

To keep you comfortable during the healing process, your oral surgeon will provide detailed post-operative instructions for you. Disclosing your full health history, including medications such as birth control, will ensure that you receive the most accurate information.

For more information about removing your wisdom teeth, contact the office of Dr. Steven Koos, your dual degree Chicago IL oral and maxillofacial surgeon, to schedule your professional consultation today.