What are the complications associated with this procedure?

October 9, 2019

This is usually a very safe procedure, which is carried out by specially trained staff who are very experienced.

Complications with this type of surgery are, fortunately, rare and may not apply to you, but it is important that you are aware of them.

Bleeding

Although there may be a little bleeding at the time if extraction, this usually stops very quickly and is unlikely to be a problem if the wound is stitched.

Should the area bleed again when you get home this can usually be stopped by applying pressure over the area for at least 10 minutes with a rolled-up handkerchief or swab.

If the bleeding does not stop, please contact us for further help and advice or if out of hours then call 111.


Numbness

There are 2 nerves that lie very close to the roots of the lower wisdom teeth. One of these nerves supplies feeling to your lower lip, chin and lower teeth. The other supplies feeling to your tongue and helps with taste. Sometimes these nerves may be bruised when a wisdom tooth is taken out. This can cause tingling or numbness in your lower lip, chin or tongue, and (more rarely) altered taste.

About one in 10 people will have some tingling or numbness that can last for several weeks. Less than one in 100 people will have problems that last more than a year. These risks may be higher if your teeth are in a difficult position. Your surgeon will tell you if you are considered to be an increased risk. 

Infection

It is important to keep your mouth clean and to reduce or cut down your smoking following the removal of your wisdom teeth to prevent infection.

Antibiotics are not routinely prescribed after surgery, but your surgeon may prescribe antibiotics for particular cases.

Other risks

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Temporary/permanent risk of numbness
  • Risk of the roots retained or further surgery may be needed.

There may also be associated pain, swelling and stiffness of your jaw.

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Nicholas Lee: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Sheffield UK