If you are planning to have your wisdom teeth extracted, it’s important to prepare not only for the surgery, but also for the healing process that takes place afterward. Dr. Steven Koos, your dual-degreed Chicago oral and maxillofacial surgeon (which sets him apart from other single degree DDS only oral surgeons and as both a physician and dental surgeon he has the special expertise to comprehensively treat complex oral conditions), can help you develop a plan for aftercare that will reduce the likelihood of complications and make for an uneventful smoother recovery

As with any oral surgery, patients who have had their wisdom teeth extracted may have discomfort in the days immediately following the procedure. It is possible to minimize that pain, though. A regimen to decrease post-operative swelling will significantly decrease discomfort.  Intra-operative steroids are given to reduce edema.  Additionally, patients should apply ice against the cheeks for the first 48 hours then switch to applying heat. Your ORA oral surgeon in Chicago IL will also prescribe a non-narcotic analgesic, like Ibuprofen 800mg, and a narcotic analgesic, like Vicodin or Percocet, that you can take as needed to alleviate symptoms.  A hydrocolloid gel medication is often dispensed as well post-extraction to sooth the extraction sockets, promote healing and also keep bacteria reduced in the healing area.

The dual degree oral surgeons at ORA will recommend a precautionary self-care regimen. Patients should avoid vigorous exercise or strenuous exercise for the first 72 hours.  From a dietary perspective patients should avoid carbonated beverages, vigorous swishing and forceful expectoration, or using a straw for the first several days after any extraction. Additionally, patients should maintain a soft diet until any sensitivity in the mouth subsides. Patients should maintain a normal oral hygiene routine, making any accommodations needed if sutures/stitches are present, and rinse with salt water to promote healing. Most young adult patients will recover fully within a few days of the extraction, although older patients can sometimes take a week or longer to recuperate.

The risk of complications from wisdom teeth extraction in downtown Chicago is very low, but certain conditions may arise. Patients may have lingering numbness or bleeding, or an infection may set in at the surgical site. Another issue often associated with wisdom teeth extraction is dry sockets, which occur when the blood clots dissolve prematurely and do not reform. Those blood clots serve as “insulation” for the bones and nerves in the socket, but if the clots are absent, those structures can be directly exposed to the air, food and liquids in the mouth. The sockets can become persistently painful upon this contact and may cause throbbing pain, but treatment is simple with a special medicated dressing.

To learn more about safe, comfortable wisdom teeth extraction and a smooth recovery process, contact ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio in Chicago at 312.328.9000.