Complications of Wisdom Tooth Removal
Pain: Although post-operative pain following surgery is not common, typically medication is prescribed to make this tolerable.
Swelling: swelling peaks 48 hours post surgery and then subsides over 10-14 days. Cold packs to the side of the face starting immediately post-operatively and continuing for the first 24 hours after surgery greatly reduces the extent of the swelling.
Bleeding: some bleeding is normal following surgery. This should slow dramatically over the first 4-6 hours post surgery. Oozing from the extraction sites may continue for the first 12 hours.
Bruising: whenever bleeding occurs, bruising may follow. This occurs rarely.
Infection: the mouth is teeming with bacteria and so there is always a risk that an infection may follow surgery. This occurs rarely and is managed well with antibiotics.
Dry Socket: If during the healing process the clot forming at the site of an extraction is lost, a painful condition known as dry socket may occur. A dry socket is self limiting, usually lasting for 10-14 days and is managed with dressings placed into the socket and pain medication.
Damage to adjacent teeth: A risk exists of damaging teeth next to the one being removed. Often teeth adjacent to extraction sites will be sensitive to temperature following surgery but over 1-2 weeks the resolves.
Damage to maxillary sinus: because upper wisdom teeth are in very close proximity to the maxillary sinus (and can even be sitting within the sinus) there is a risk that removing these can create and opening into the sinus. If this occurs the sinus will be repaired at the time of the extraction and further instructions in-home care will be given.
Nerve damage: There are two major nerves in close proximity to the lower wisdom teeth. These provide felling to the lower lip, chin and tongue. There is a risk during wisdom tooth removal that these nerves could be damaged resulting in temporary or permanent numbness.
Fractured Jaw: There isa risk, albeit slight, ot a fractured jaw following removal of wisdom teeth. Should this occur, a second surgery, likely under general anesthesia, would need to be performed to repair the fractured bone.
Please contact our office (403-255-3202) should you have any further questions or concerns.