I’m scheduled to see the sedation dentist to have my wisdom teeth extracted in three weeks. I just had my initial consultation and x-rays and they went over most of the instructions with me. They also sent a sheet home with me that had post-op instructions and it talked about using gauze after the extractions are done. I’m a little worried, since this is a sedation dentist and all… is there a possibility that I could fall asleep and choke on the gauze or, worse yet, choke on it just because I’m not mentally with it after? Is the gauze absolutely necessary or are there alternatives?
Julia in Nebraska
The gauze is only needed while you’re actively bleeding. The pressure helps stop it and will help protect the blood clot as it forms. The clot is important because it protects the socket. Without it, your bone is exposed and that can be a very uncomfortable experience. So, you really want to do everything you can to protect the area and promote healing right after the tooth extractions. Gauze is a great choice because it’s gentle, absorbent, and can be changed out easily. The gauze you’ll receive from the sedation dentist will also be sterilized, so you don’t introduce bacteria into the socket. In other words, the gauze is a huge benefit that you don’t want to overlook.
You will be groggy after you leave the sedation dentist and you’ll probably want to sleep off the meds. Even still, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have an issue with the gauze. You should have a responsible adult with you after surgery and that person should stay with you until the meds are out of your system. You can talk to that person in advance about your concerns and make sure that they understand the importance of their job. They really do need to look out for you and also make sure you’re not up and walking around while you’re still disoriented. They can help keep an eye on how you’re doing with your gauze, too. You shouldn’t lay down with it in and you’ll need to change it out about every 45 minutes until it’s only light pink when you’re supposed to be ready for a change. At that point, you can take it out without worry. This could happen as little as one hour after surgery, or about the time you’re getting home, or it could be about five hours later.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.