Third molars are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth and most of the time, they need to remove if they cause any trouble to the patient.

We had seen what happens if third molars are not removed in time in our previous blog

Today we are going to see what precautions to be taken once the third molars are removed.

But before that, we need to understand, third molars are always difficult to remove as they are situated deep inside, posterior to the second molar.  Lower ( mandibular third molars ) are situated in the mandible and that part of the mandible is composed of very thick cortical bone. This cortical bone is densely formed. Any injury to this bone is extremely painful.

Third molar surgery:-

This is a very common dental procedure, routinely done at our center. It involves simple nonsurgical removal to extensive bone drilling and surgical disimpaction.

After prior investigation, like full mouth x rays / or CBCT, surgery is planned.

Local anesthesia is given. and third molars are removed. Depending on difficulty level, post-extraction symptoms appear. These post-removal symptoms are discussed below and tips to take care of them.

A) For mandibular third molar removal, anesthesia is given to half of the mandible and tissues surrounding the tooth.

This anesthesia effect remains for the next couple of hours and there are chances of the lip, cheek, and tongue bite. if a patient tries to chew or speak.

Tip:- Avoid speaking and eating anything post-extraction. This will minimize the chances of lip bite, cheek bite / or tongue bite. Once the numbness wears off,  can have soft food for the rest of day. Avoid spicy, hard, sharp food.

B) Mandibular third molar removal is usually followed by sutures ( stitches ) in the region. Stitches help to cover the wound and initiate primary healing.  These sutures are placed for one week.

Tip:- don’t put your tongue over the stitches and play with it.

They often get loose as healing occurs. Don’t try to remove them by yourself

C) In difficult cases when there is a need to drill some part of the bone that surrounds the third molars, some swelling is expected. This swelling gradually increases from the first day and reaches a maximum on the third day after the removal of the tooth.

Tip:- Immediately after extraction of the tooth, apply an ice pack from outside. This helps to minimize inflammation and minimizes the swelling.

The patient is advised to eat ice cream post-extraction, this cold application from inside helps to minimize swelling from the inner surface as well.

D) Trismus or difficulty in opening mouth post extraction of mandibular molar is very common. It happens because, during the removal of the third molar, muscles of mastication are stretched, which then contracts and closes the mouth. This stiffness of muscles reduces mouth opening.

Tip:- Mouth opening exercises are always helpful in gaining back the elasticity of muscles. Ice cream stick exercise is very easy and comfortable for patients and is advisable to do every morning after brushing of teeth.

E) Third molar area is difficult to clean as our brush doesn’t reach there.

Tip:- To clean the third molar region more efficiently, close the mouth, and place brush in between cheek and teeth. In this way, the brush will reach the third molar region and clean the region efficiently.

For further details about post-operative care post-extraction, you can read our blog.