One of the reasons that makes going to the dentist a dreadful thought is tooth extraction. And we’re only talking about a simple extraction procedure here.
What if what it is your wisdom tooth that has to be extracted? As you might probably know, it is a way more extensive procedure because it involves a lot of pretty complicated steps.
But you don’t have to worry about undergoing it if you know what to expect after the operation and what you can do about it.
Bleeding is a common complication of any type of surgery, including simple extraction and wisdom tooth surgery.
Some bleeding may occur for up to a few minutes after surgery, but it’s nothing that cannot be stopped by applying pressure on the surgical area.
Do this by biting firmly on a piece of gauze for half an hour at least to allow for the formation of a blood clot that will plug the tooth socket.
Apply a new piece of gauze as needed. If the bleeding becomes profuse and persistent, you must contact your dentist immediately.
Aside from pressure application, you will also be given other instructions to keep bleeding to minimum. Basically, any activity that generates negative pressure like smoking, spitting, and using straws should be avoided.
Negative pressure creates a suction effect that can dislodge the clot and start bleeding again. It is also advised to refrain from doing any activity that causes blood pressure to rise.
You will also be instructed to be on a soft, cold diet for the first 24 hours. Cold promotes narrowing of the blood vessels on the extraction site, thereby preventing further bleeding.
Pain and Discomfort
You may also start to feel pain and some other discomfort a couple of hours after the operation, as anesthesia start wears off.
The degree of discomfort depends on your tolerance and the extent of the surgery. Needless to say, in a more extensive and traumatic surgery, the discomfort will be greater.
It will be mild to moderate in nature, but painkillers such as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid should be enough to get rid of them, otherwise, contact your dentist for further instructions because you might be experiencing the so-called dry socket.
With regards to your oral hygiene, you can avoid further discomfort by not brushing the area for the first 24 hours. You can clean it by rinsing it with a warm saline solution or an alcohol-free mouthwash. After a day, you should be able to go back to your normal oral hygiene routine.
Swelling is another definite complication of surgery, and it will greatest for 48 to 72 hours after the operation.
To minimize swelling during this period, you may apply cold compress on intermittently on the area. Cold relieves swelling by causing the blood vessels to constrict.
Also, be sure to keep your head slightly above the heart level when lying down.
Infection should not be much of a problem if the operation is completed in the fastest possible time, although antibiotics may be given prior to and after the operation.
One way to determine if infection has occurred is the presence of foul odor. To combat infection, take your antibiotics exactly as prescribed by your dentist. Typically, you have to be on antibiotics thrice a day for seven to ten days.
After your surgery, you will be asked to come back to your dentist’s clinic for a follow-up visit, the purpose of which is to monitor healing. This follow-up visit should be done a week after the operation, or earlier if the depending on the complications you are experiencing.