Know Before You Go: What to Expect With Wisdom Teeth Removal
Are you about to get your wisdom teeth removed? Are you not sure what to expect? Read on to learn what to expect with wisdom teeth removal.
Keyword(s): wisdom teeth removal
Every year, approximately five million Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. Are you getting ready to join this group?
It’s natural to feel nervous before having your wisdom teeth removed. It may be a routine procedure, but it’s still intimidating to know that you’re volunteering to have several of your teeth pulled out.
If you’re feeling anxious about the procedure, it helps to know exactly what it entails.
Read on for some more details on the wisdom teeth removal procedure and what you can expect during your appointment.
Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Some people are hesitant to have their wisdom teeth removed because they don’t understand the benefits of the procedure.
There are many reasons why someone may need to have their wisdom teeth removed. Some common reasons include:
- They’re impacted and are trapped in the gums or jawbone — this can be painful and contribute to chronic headaches and other issues.
- They’ve grown in at the wrong angle and are pressing against your other teeth.
- Your jaw isn’t big enough to accommodate extra molars.
- You’re experiencing signs of tooth decay and can’t reach your wisdom teeth while brushing or flossing.
If any of these situations apply to you, it’s a good idea to have your wisdom teeth removed as soon as you can.
Preparing the Procedure
Before you have your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll likely meet with your dentist to go over some logistics.
The dentist or the dental clinic staff will give you instructions on what do prior to the surgery and on the day of. You’ll also have time to ask questions about what to expect from the procedure.
Some questions you might want to ask include:
- When should I arrive for the procedure?
- Do I need to fast? If so, how long before the procedure should I begin?
- Do I need to make arrangements for someone to pick me up and drive me home?
- Can I take prescription medications prior to the procedure? If so, how soon before the procedure can I take them?
- What type of anesthesia will you use? Local, sedation, or general?
Prior to the procedure, you should also make arrangements at work or at school to take some time off so you can rest and recuperate. Most people need a few days of rest before they can resume regular activities.
During the Procedure
The first step in the wisdom teeth removal procedure is the administration of anesthesia. Depending on the type of anesthesia your dentist uses (local, sedation, or general), you may or may not be conscious during the procedure.
Regardless of the type of anesthesia used, the wisdom tooth removal process is the same. Your dentist will follow these steps as they remove each of your wisdom teeth:
- They’ll make an incision in the gum, exposing the tooth and the bone
- They’ll remove the bone that’s blocking access to the tooth root
- They may divide the tooth into sections to make it easier to remove
- They’ll remove the tooth and clean the site to get rid of debris from the bone or the tooth itself
- They’ll stitch the wound closed to encourage proper healing
- They’ll cover the extraction site with cause to promote blood clot formation and minimize bleeding
That’s it! They’ll repeat that process with each of your wisdom teeth. The whole procedure is usually finished in about 45 minutes (sometimes less).
After the Procedure
For a lot of people, the idea of recovering from the wisdom teeth removal procedure is more intimidating than the procedure itself. If this sounds like you, here are some guidelines on what to expect post-removal.
After the procedure is finished, you may spend some time in a recovery room before you’re able to leave. If you were placed under general or sedation anesthesia, you’ll need to have someone available to pick you up and take your home.
Most people don’t feel any pain immediately after they have their wisdom teeth removed. Once the anesthesia wears off completely, you’ll experience some mild-to-moderate pain, swelling, and discomfort.
Post-Procedure Dos and Don’ts
After you have your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll need to control the bleeding. Your dentist will give you instructions on replacing the gauze over the extraction site.
In addition to replacing the gauze on a regular basis, you should try to avoid spitting as much as possible. This will help you avoid dislodging blood clots.
As for pain management, be sure to take your pain medication as directed. You can also use an ice pack to minimize swelling and bruising and reduce your discomfort.
Be sure to drink plenty of water post-procedure. Avoid alcoholic beverages, as well as hot, carbonated, or caffeinated beverages for at least 24 hours after you have your wisdom teeth removed. Don’t drink through a straw for at least a week, either — this can dislodge a blood clot.
Limit yourself to soft foods like yogurt for the first 24 hours, then transition to semisoft foods as you can tolerate them. Steer clear of hard, hot, spicy, or chewy foods for a few days after the procedure — they can irritate the wound or get stuck in the socket.
Keep it Clean
After you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll need to avoid brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours.
After 24 hours, you can resume brushing. Be gentle, though, especially when brushing near the surgical wound.
You’ll also need to gently rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution every couple of hours, as well as after meals. This helps to relieve pain and keep everything clean.
Schedule Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Today
Now that you know more about what to expect from your wisdom teeth removal procedure, are you feeling more confident and prepared?
Are you ready to go ahead and schedule your procedure?
Whether you’re ready to schedule your wisdom teeth removal or you’d like to learn more about the procedure, we can help at Summerbrook Dental.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to address any concerns you may have.
Our patients are always our top priority at Summerbrook Dental, and we’re happy to help in any way we can.