Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth Removal

The average adult has 32 teeth; consisting of eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and 12 molars. Of the 12 molars, four are wisdom teeth located at the very back of the jaw. They are the last of the permanent teeth to erupt, typically developing later in adolescence or early in adulthood.

Because of their late arrival, wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems for people, including crowding of the teeth, damage to adjacent teeth, infection along the gum line, and tooth decay. That’s why it’s important to have them removed by a qualified dentist in a timely manner if causing problems.

Dentist Consultation

At Oral Square Dental Care, we understand that the thought of wisdom teeth removal can be intimidating. That’s why we strive to ensure every patient has a positive, stress-free experience. We take the time to discuss the process with each patient in detail, answer any questions, and ensure that everything is as comfortable as possible. Our team of experienced dentists and staff provide the highest quality dental solutions at our Tarneit dental clinic.

Your dentist will check to see whether the tooth is fully or partially erupted. An OPG (orthopantomogram) x-ray is required to identify the position of the wisdom tooth, the complexity of the treatment, and if there are any associated risks.

Wisdom Teeth Surgery

Wisdom tooth extraction surgery is typically under an hour and you may require a local or general anaesthetic. After the tooth is removed sutures may be used to close any wounds left in its place and promote healing. Expect a follow-up appointment to monitor the healing process.

What to Expect After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Every situation is unique to the individual, however, our experience shows the following is common for most people after they have had wisdom teeth removed.

Immediately After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

  • After surgery, be careful not to vigorously move your jaw, rinse your mouth or touch the wound. Such actions may cause bleeding by dislodging the blood clot that has formed on its surface, necessary for healing
  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be left in place for 30 minutes
  • Ice packs should be applied to the side of your face where surgery was performed for the first 24-48 hours
  • Expect numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue due to the anaesthetic. This is temporary and will wear off. Avoid biting lips, tongue, or cheeks to regain sensation as this will only cause more trauma to soft tissue
  • Follow all your dentist’s aftercare instructions


A certain amount of bleeding, oozing, or redness is to be expected in your saliva following surgery. Gently rinse your mouth and then place a gauze pad over the surgical area. Do not chew on the gauze as it stimulates saliva flow, increasing the risk of more bleeding.

To minimise bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright too often, and avoid exercise. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. If the bleeding does not subside, please call the office for further instructions.

Swelling and Bruising

Swelling and bruising around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face is not uncommon. You might even notice a small elevation in temperature. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair.

Many times, the swelling will not become apparent until the following day and may not reach its maximum until 2-3 days postoperatively. However, the swelling may be minimised by the immediate use of ice packs. Ice packs are most effective within the first 24-48 hours.

If swelling or jaw stiffness persists for several days, there is no cause for alarm, as this is a normal reaction to surgery.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of many medications, including intravenous sedatives or general anaesthetics, as well as pain relief medications.

In the event of nausea or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour, including the prescribed pain medicine. Once your nausea subsides, you can begin taking small amounts of solid food and restart the prescribed pain medicine.

Sore Throat

As muscles in your face and throat are swollen, the simple act of swallowing may become painful, resulting in a sore throat. This is not uncommon and the pain will usually subside in 2-3 days.

Stiffness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for several days following surgery. Try not to aggravate your jaw with excessive movement. Again, this is a normal post-operative feeling which will also subside.

Post-Surgery Advice

Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions for your wisdom tooth extraction aftercare, so that should be your priority. The following comes from our years of experience.

Pain Medication

Pain or discomfort is usually at its worst 24-48 hours post-surgery, after that it should begin to subside. For severe pain, take the prescribed pain medication tablets as directed. The prescribed pain medicine might make you feel groggy so avoid driving and operating heavy machinery. If pain persists or you have an unfavourable reaction, you should contact the office for further instruction.

Diet and Exercise

  • After surgery, you should drink fluids to prevent dehydration. Sip from a glass and do not use a straw because sucking on one can dislodge the blood clot that has formed in your mouth
  • Your food intake will be limited for the first few days, you may want to consider high-protein or high-calorie shakes. Eat soft food, chewing gently around the surgical sites
  • Avoid alcohol and cigarettes
  • Restrict your activities for 24 hours post-surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable
  • Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.

Brushing, Flossing, and Mouthwash

No vigorous brushing, flossing, or rinsing should be performed until the day after surgery. You can brush your teeth 24 hours after wisdom tooth extraction but rinse gently. The idea is to protect the blood clot that has formed over the socket, which aids the healing process.

You don’t want a dry socket which is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket.

The day after surgery you can begin rinsing about 4 times a day, especially after eating, with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt. Be mindful of the corners of your mouth as they may be cracked and the salt may sting. You can use lip balm to keep your lips moist.

Oral Square After Care

Having wisdom teeth surgery at Oral Square Dental Care gives you peace of mind and optimal care, knowing your procedure will be performed with the utmost care and safety.

If you have any questions post your wisdom tooth extraction, we are here to help you. If pain persists or you have any concerns please contact us. Our care does not end once you’ve left the chair.