What to expect: After Care

 

Post-operative care is very important.  The recovery period will be much less eventful if post-operative instructions are carried out carefully.  You will be allowed to rest until you are ready to be allowed to leave.  Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the extraction site should be avoided as this may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.  Each individuals reaction to surgery varies, and the sensation of pain can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain.  You can expect approximately 2 to 4 days of discomfort before noting any improvement.  A variable amount of swelling can also be expected following surgery.  The swelling usually peaks on the second or third day.  You can limit the amount of swelling you have by using ice-packs the entire first day.  Bleeding in the first few hours may also occur.

By the Third day you may notice your jaw muscles are stiff and it is difficult to open your jaw as wide as you used to.  This can resolve quicker with some heat packs as this helps the muscles to relax more.  You may also get some chafing at the corners of the mouth and some bruising is not uncommon.

It is important to follow the post-operative instructions closely as it will make recovery more comfortable in the first few days.  You will often be given antibiotics to help reduce the chance of any post-operative infection and some pain relief medication.  Most patients feel that they can resume a full working, social and athletic lifestyle after 5 days.  As with any surgical procedure there can be complications, or an unanticipated result, and these are covered in your initial consultation before consent is given to remove your wisdom teeth.

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