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Oral Surgery/sports after wisdom teeth extraction


Hi--My daughter is almost 13.  Her doc is recommending one wisdom tooth be extracted since it is blocking another tooth.  If she does this (and also has the upper wisdom teeth removed at the same time) how long should she refrain from playing girls lacrosse?  If she only has one wisdom tooth removed, would the answer still be the same?  Thanks.

Frank, Thank you for your question. Usually, I like to recommend no physical activity for about 1 week after an extraction of a wisdom tooth. An upper wisdom tooth extraction may start light physical activity after about 5 days and if there is a any throbbing in the area, than continue to refrain and add intensity as tolerated. Lower wisdom teeth are a bit different and I recommend no physical activity for about 10 days. The bone in the lower is typically more dense and the healing will take just a bit longer. If both are taken out, the 10 days is usually enough. Please note, the above will also depend on how the teeth are positioned and how much surgery is involved and if bone is cut in order to remove the teeth. A specific answer can be given by your oral surgeon because they will know about the positioning and the surgery involved. Additionally, people heal differently. If lacrosse is important and there are no acute issues with the teeth, you might consider waiting until the off season. I hope that helps.

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James M. Ryan. DDS, MS; Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon


Dr. Ryan's expertise is in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Specifically, Dr. Ryan is an expert in Orthognathic Surgery. He holds uniques experience as the former Assistant Program Director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Training Program at Washington Hospital Center where he trained residents to perform these complicated surgical procedures. Additionally, Dr. Ryan also has a tremendous amount of experience in reconstruction of the maxillofacial skeleton related to trauma and tooth loss. Dr. Ryan is an expert in 3 dimensional treatment planning for Orthognathic Surgery, Dental Implant Surgery and Wisdom Teeth removal. To learn more about Dr. Ryan, his full profile can be seen at


Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with current hospital affiliations at: Washington Hospital Center Holy Cross Germantown Hospital National Institute of Health/NIDCR

American Dental Association. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. District of Columbia Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. District of Columbia Dental Society. American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Health Volunteers Overseas.

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Journal of The American Dental Association

S.U.N.Y @ Stony Brook- B.S. in Biochemistry, Stony Brook, NY. Northeastern University- M.S. in Perfusion Technology, Boston, MA. D.D.S.- New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY. Certificate and Chief Resident- Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC. Clinical Fellow- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD.

Awards and Honors
Dr. Ryan has received numerous awards including: 2006 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Dental Student Award, Washington Hospital Center 2008 Nurses' Choice Physician Collaboration Award, 2009 Resident Research Summit Scholarship Award, and the 2011 Outstanding Surgical Attending in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at Washington Hospital Center. He has also authored/coauthored and published several journal articles and held several teaching positions,including assistant professor, while at NYUCD.

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