December 10, 2020
Wisdom Tooth Removal: This Is What to Expect
Wisdom teeth can cause a lot of complications, such as pain, impaction, gum disease, tooth decay, and more that necessitates extraction. Around five million people get their wisdom teeth removed each year. However, not all these cases are due to complications.
Sometimes, people have them removed as a precaution, even with the absence of symptoms. Others may do so for aesthetic purposes only. No matter the reason, though, the decision is up to you.
What’s more important is to get wisdom tooth removal once you have complications. Don’t worry, it isn’t as scary as they make it sound to be. Keep reading to learn what you should expect from the procedure.
1. Before Surgery
You’ll have to meet with the surgeon first to discuss the kind of procedure you’ll need. The surgeon will also go over your medical history and the drugs you’re using. This ensures you’ll have no complications with the anesthesia and the procedure.
Speaking of, you’ll also go over the different types of anesthesia. This will depend on the procedure.
You’ll likely need general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep during surgery. This is a must, especially if you have impacted wisdom teeth.
In some cases, though, you might only need local anesthesia, like novocaine or lidocaine. This numbs the area, but you’ll stay awake during the removal. If needed, they may also give you laughing gas to relax you.
IV sedation is another option, which delivers anesthesia through your veins. This is stronger but has a faster recovery time. It produces an effect like temporary amnesia.
Other than that, use this meeting to ask further questions about the procedure.
Prepare for the Surgery Day
Wisdom tooth removal is an outpatient procedure. Meaning, you don’t have to stay at the hospital afterward and you can go home right after the surgery.
Still, it’s a surgery, so it’s best if you don’t schedule anything on the day of. You won’t be driving, as well, so you should ask someone you trust to take you home. The anesthesia can make you
File for a leave, get someone to take care of your dog and get all your affairs taken care of before surgery. That way, you can rest and wear off the anesthesia in peace.
2. During Surgery
The surgery itself only takes around 45 minutes or so. If you’re given anesthesia that makes you fall asleep, this will pass by in a blink of an eye.
You won’t feel any pain while the surgeon is removing wisdom teeth thanks to the anesthesia. But, to give you an idea of what happens during the procedure, here’s how it often goes.
The oral surgeon might have to make an incision on your gums to expose the tooth and bone. They will then remove the bone that blocks access to the tooth root.
At this point, they may cut the tooth into sections to make removal easier. But, it’s not necessary in some cases.
Once they remove the tooth, they will then clean the site to remove debris from the removal of the tooth and bone.
They may also stitch the gums to promote healing, but this isn’t always necessary, as well. If you have stitches, these will usually dissolve after a few days.
The doctor will then put a gauze over the wound to soak up the blood and promote clotting.
3. After Surgery
The surgeon will provide instructions on how to care for the wound, including when and how to replace the gauze. If there are stitches, they’ll also inform you whether you need to go back in for removal or if it will dissolve by itself.
The aftercare will go a lot better if you prepared for the oral surgery beforehand. Like we said above, you might not be in the right state to drive home, so you’ll have to ask some to get you to your home safely.
If you only had local anesthesia, however, you might feel alert only moments later. You might still have enough energy to stop by the grocery store, for example, and go home by yourself.
Still, remember that everyone’s body has a different reaction to anesthesia. It’s still better to clear your schedule in case you don’t recover as you expect to.
First 24 Hours
Stick to soft foods while your gums heal. For the first 24 hours, eat something like yogurt or applesauce; anything hard might get stuck in the wound or irritate it. In the same vein, avoid hot or spicy foods, as well.
You should also avoid brushing and using mouthwash. Once 24 hours have passed and you start brushing again, don’t brush too hard. Doing so might dislodge the clot from the surgical area.
This leads to a dry socket, a condition in which your bones and nerves are bare. It’s an agonizing experience that you should best avoid.
Keep yourself hydrated as well, but stay away from alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and hot drinks. Even past the first 24 hours, keep drinking plenty of water.
Pain and Discomfort
Most people feel little to no pain at all, although some people can feel extreme pain afterward.
The level of pain depends on several factors, like the number of teeth removed and the degree of impaction. The pain should subside by a day or two, though, especially if there are no complications.
The surgeon may prescribe some narcotics, but this isn’t the standard. There’s increased pressure for other alternatives to pain relief due to the opioid crisis.
Aside from pain, expect some swelling and discomfort for up to three days after surgery. The gums should also be sore for up to a week. As a result, your cheek/s will look puffy for the following days.
It’s likely to have bleeding, as well, but you should avoid spitting too much. This might dislodge the clot and cause a dry socket.
Schedule Your Wisdom Tooth Removal Now
Learning how wisdom tooth removal works can help you be more prepared and less anxious about the procedure. It’s not a requirement to get your wisdom teeth pulled out but there’s always the risk of them impacting other teeth. You also might not be able to clean them properly, given how far they are.
At least now, you’ll know what to expect when you go to a dentist to get them removed.
Of course, there’s a lot more to learn about wisdom teeth and other dental procedures. If you have any more questions, though, feel free to contact us today.