Do I need a separate consultation, or can I be treated the same day?
Many patients are seen and treated the same day. This is typical especially for extractions and other simple procedures. Complex treatment may require separate appointments.
I had surgery this morning and one of my stitches came out, is this okay?
Yes, in most instances, the stitches are placed at the time of surgery simply to assist with initial control of bleeding and clot formation. This is especially true with wisdom tooth surgery and other tooth extractions. Thus, loss of a stitch is not considered an emergency, even if it occurs on the day of surgery. If your surgeon has performed a bone-grafting procedure and the stitches are coming out prematurely, contact the office to notify the doctor who will decide on the next course of action.
What kinds of foods can I eat after having oral surgery?
On the day of the surgery, cool and soft food is recommended, such as applesauce, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Hot foods may disturb initial clot formation in the extraction sites. Following the day of the surgery, it’s best to avoid crunchy foods such as popcorn, nuts, and potato chips which break up into little pieces and can get packed down into the extraction sites. If you had dental implants placed avoid chewing hard foods with the implant itself for 6 weeks or the healing of the implant will be compromised.
What’s the healthiest way to manage discomfort after wisdom-tooth surgery?
Begin taking prescribed pain medication as soon as possible after surgery. We recommend that you first eat something to alleviate nausea that pain medication can cause. Continue taking the medication on the prescribed schedule for the first day or two. After that time, take pain medication as needed in accordance with prescribed directions.
What is a “Dry Socket” and how do I know if I have one?
The term “dry socket” refers to a condition called alveolar osteitis, or a premature breakdown of the blood clot present in an extraction site. Smoking, poor oral hygiene, and over-excursion in the post-operative period can contribute to this condition, but sometimes there is no obvious cause. Typically, “dry socket” presents itself 3-5 days after the surgery with increased pain, foul odor and taste, and bad breath. This condition is very easily treatable and requires that we wash out the socket and place a medication dressing, which provides pain relief usually within an hour after placement. These medicated dressings typically are replaced every 2-3 days in our office until the condition subsides in one to two weeks. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with “dry socket,” the best solution is to call our office when it opens in the morning at 7:30 am so we can arrange to have you seen that day for treatment.
My lip (and / or tongue) feels numb. What does this mean?
Numbness of the lip, tongue, gums, teeth etc. is a common occurrence after lower jaw surgery. It is usually caused by some type of irritation to the nerves involved and over 90% of the time resolves within a few days or weeks. Occasionally, it may take longer to resolve. Fortunately, it is just a feeling sensation and does not cause a muscle weakness. It is important for you to have us evaluate this so appropriate recommendations can be made.