If you’ve never had oral surgery before, you’re likely wondering about what life will look like after your wisdom tooth extraction, like the healing time, what you’ll be able to eat, and whether your stitches will dissolve on their own. Although sometimes, answers for these concerns can depend on your individual dentist’s recommendations and practices, there are some baseline expectations you can set for recovery. Read on to learn more about wisdom tooth stitches and your recovery period.
What are Wisdom Tooth Stitches & Will They Need to Be Removed?
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, which means they are unable to erupt fully through the gumline, your dentist will likely need to complete surgery to remove them. Because this is a surgical treatment, you can expect to be put under IV sedation or even general anesthesia, and you’ll likely experience some minor bleeding and swelling that can last for up to a week after the procedure.
At the end of your treatment, they’ll close the extraction site with dissolvable stitches. This will help hold the blood clot in place, minimize the bleeding, and help the gum tissue repair itself faster. Typically, only one or two stitches are needed per tooth, and they’ll dissolve within a week at most.
What Happens if the Stitches Aren’t Removed?
If you notice that your stitches haven’t dissolved within a week, contact your dentist to have them removed. It’s not recommended that you try to take them out yourself, as putting your hands or non-sanitary items (like tweezers) in your mouth to try to remove them could lead to an infection. Your dentist will be able to examine the extraction sites to make sure everything looks healthy, and safely remove the remaining undissolved stitches.
Preventing Post-Operative Complications
In addition to keeping an eye on your stitches, you’ll want to monitor your pain, bleeding, and swelling. As a general rule of thumb, your discomfort should subside with time, not get worse. Additionally, you’ll want to eat soft foods and be gentle while cleaning your mouth to prevent post-operative complications like dry socket from developing. If at any point you have concerns or questions, it’s always best to contact your dentist!
About the Practice
At Oakbrook Dental & Orthodontics, our team of four skilled professionals are happy to help patients get out of pain, whether that’s by removing wisdom teeth or providing same-day emergency care. With two orthodontists as well as two general dentists on staff, our team’s wide breadth of expertise is great when it comes to dealing with everything from minor to more complex dental cases. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or call 469-526-4040.