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Dental Extractions

The information contained herein is important: You should carefully read it and ask any questions that you might have about it. Many of the side effects of having teeth removed are common and expected. Other, less common, events are not generally expected and are complications of tooth removal. This information is not supposed to be a complete list of all possible side effects and complications resulting from tooth surgery. However, it does include, what we believe to be the most important considerations.


Pain is common, but usually, and fortunately of short duration (a few days). The pain will be well managed with prescribed medication. New or dramatic increases in pain several days after surgery may represent a dry socket. Management of this problem is usually straightforward, but will require that you return to the Office, usually prior to the routine one-week follow-up appointment. Please contact the office if you experience a dramatic increase in pain prior to your follow-up appointment.


Swelling is common, but rarely severe. Swelling usually peaks on the second or third day after surgery. A dramatic increase in swelling several days after surgery can be a sign of infection. Please contact the office if you experience any problems with swelling. Bruising of the face and/or neck may also occur and may persist for a week or two, but is rarely severe.


Infection is uncommon and can usually be managed without hospitalization. Occasionally, infection will require hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics and/or a surgical drainage procedure. Even less common is a bone infection (osteomyelitis) that may require prolonged treatment including antibiotics and additional surgery.


A slight ooze of blood causing blood tinged saliva is common. Severe bleeding is rare. Oozing is treated with intermittent pressure applied by biting on a folded gauze pad. Severe bleeding may require an unscheduled return to the office for evaluation. It is important that you reveal any past history of bleeding problems, as well as any aspirin or blood thinner use prior to undergoing wisdom tooth removal.

Jaw Stiffness

Stiffness with jaw opening is common and temporary. Tooth removal may aggravate a pre-existing jaw joint (TMJ) problem leading to the possibility of joint pain, noise (popping) and/or locking. If you have experienced any of these jaw symptoms in the past, you should mention them before undergoing tooth removal. Aggravation of a pre-existing jaw joint problem will usually respond to simple measures; however. more prolonged treatment of the symptomatic jaw joint may be required.

Sinus Problems

Rarely, an opening into the sinus will result from removal of an upper wisdom tooth. Such openings may be closed at the time of tooth removal or will close spontaneously. In rare circumstances, a separate surgical procedure may be required at a later date to close a sinus opening. Sinus infection can be a complication of sinus exposure and may require antibiotics and, possibly, sinus surgery.

Tooth/tooth Parts Displacement Or Damage

Rarely in the process of removing a tooth. a tooth or part of a tooth (usually a tooth root) will be displaced from the socket into surrounding tissue or the sinus. This tooth/tooth part may not be visible and may not be removed or removal may be necessary at a later date. Damage to surrounding teeth and dental work is also a possibility.