Swelling or puffiness after wisdom teeth extraction is not uncommon and most people come to expect the so called ‘chipmunk’ look for a few days after surgery. Here are four ways to avoid swelling and let you get back to your normal life and eating quickly:
- Non-invasive surgical technique: This is probably the single most effective way to prevent post-operative swelling. Swelling is caused by excessive pushing back of the gum tissue over the wisdom teeth and surgical manipulation of the bone surrounding it. The more gum tissue elevation and bone removal during surgery, the more swelling you will have. This can be avoided if the surgeon uses a non-invasive or non-flap technique along with no or minimal amount of bone removal. Patients can potentially have no swelling even with fully impacted wisdom teeth. However, this technique is not easy to do and only very few experienced oral surgeons can perform it effectively. I describe this technique in my new book: “The Wise Guide to Wisdom Teeth Extraction” available for free download.
- Minimize the length of the procedure: The longer the surgery, the more swelling you will have. This is because the body responds to the additional insult from the surgery by increased swelling. When done by the hands of expert oral surgeons, the extraction of non-complicated impacted wisdom teeth should not take more than 20-30 minutes- Yes, for all four wisdom teeth.
- Give intra-operative steroids: Since IV sedation anesthesia is the most frequently used option for wisdom teeth removal, a single dose of steroids can be given through the IV line which helps to decrease post-operative swelling.
- Place ice on face: The use of ice packs for 24 hours over the sides of the face also helps to minimize swelling. We use re-usable gel packs that adapt nicely to the face and can be refrozen and used continuously for 24 hours.
To learn more about wisdom teeth, download our free ebook: “The Wise Guide to Wisdom Teeth Extraction”