Wisdom teeth removal may be a commonplace procedure with more than 90% of people getting it between the age of 17 to 25. However, it is understandable that you’re nervous when the dentist talks about scheduling an appointment. You need not worry because most extractions proceed without any problems. Expert dentists and oral care surgeons like Dr. Jennifer Silver take the utmost precautions. As long as you follow the wisdom teeth removal aftercare instructions carefully, you’ll likely have a smooth recovery within no time.
Chances are that You Won’t Need Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Did you know that close to 30% of people don’t need to go for extraction? That’s because their genetic makeup or racial factors are such that they don’t grow the third set of molars at all. Other people may have this extra set of teeth, both in the upper and lower jaws. But the molars grow perfectly well. And, since they’re not causing any trouble, the dentist may suggest leaving them intact. Many patients don’t have visible wisdom teeth, but they are present inside the gums. The dentist will take X-rays or scans of your dental structure to assess the direction in which the wisdom teeth are growing and their exact position. If there is a possibility that the growth can cause problems in the future, the doctor may advise that you get them removed.
Managing Pain During Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Expect that you will feel pain after wisdom tooth extraction. But, your dentist will try to make you as comfortable as possible. If the teeth are positioned deep in the gums or too close to nerves, you may need an oral surgeon who has received training in giving you anesthesia. Most patients may need any one type of options that help numb the pain during the procedure. Later, the doctor will write you a few wisdom teeth pain remedies to help with the recovery.
- Local anesthesia: The doctor may inject Novocaine into the gums to numb them and extract the teeth. She may also choose to administer Nitrous Oxide or “Laughing Gas” as it is also called. This gas relaxes you completely and may even put you to sleep for a short while. You’ll awaken shortly afterward and feel alert.
- General anesthesia: You’ll receive a shot or an IV line in the veins that puts you to sleep. Alternatively, the doctor may use a gas given through a mask to put you to sleep. You’ll not sense any pain at all. An hour or so after the surgery is complete, you’ll awaken slowly with no memory of the surgery.
- Sedation anesthesia: In addition to the medicine given through an IV line, you’ll also receive a numbing agent injected into the gums. You may be drowsy or sleep through the extraction with some or absolutely no recollection afterward.
How to Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Having scheduled the procedure, your dentist will give you a list of instructions to follow and prepare for the extraction. She will also ask you a series of questions to evaluate your overall health and prevent any wisdom teeth removal complications. For instance:
- Are you taking any prescriptions regularly?
- Do you have any health issues we should know about?
- Can you take time off from school or work to recuperate at home?
- Can you make arrangements for someone to take care of kids and pets while you recover?
- In case of sedation dentistry or general anesthesia, can you get someone to accompany you to and from the clinic?
Do keep in mind that most wisdom teeth removal procedures take around 45 minutes to complete.
How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Recovery Take?
This is possibly one of your first concerns since you’ll need to rest and perhaps, get help during the recuperation. The recovery time for wisdom teeth removal is typically three to four weeks, at the most. Expect that the swelling will peak at Day 3 after which you’ll see the pain and discomfort easing off. Your dentist will explain in detail what to expect in the first few days afterward. Here are some of the aftercare directions you may receive.
- Take your medicines and antibiotics on schedule.
- In the initial couple of days, you may need to use an ice pack to calm the swelling or any skin discolorations.
- Later, use a moist, warm pack for relief from the sore jaw.
- Drink lots of fluids, but take care not to use a straw. The sucking motion can pull out the blood clot in the wound. And, that clot is essential for healing.
- You can start brushing the rest of your teeth starting on Day 2. But, leave the extraction site untouched. Do not rinse your mouth too vigorously.
- Open and close your mouth gently to exercise the jaw and promote blood circulation for quicker healing.
- Contact the dentist if you have a fever or if the expected stages of tooth extraction healing don’t occur on schedule.
What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Your dentist will likely give you a list of things to eat after wisdom teeth removal. These options include soft foods that don’t need much chewing. But, are rich in nutrients to help with the healing. Avoid hard and crunchy foods and make sure your meals are not too hot. Choose foods like:
- Soups made with vegetables and fruits blended to a smooth puree-like consistency
- Smoothies made with Greek yogurt or protein powder to raise the protein content
- Cottage cheese
- Omega-3 rich foods like salmon and scrambled eggs that can reduce the inflammation
- Healthy fat-rich foods like avocadoes
- Mashed bananas or banana ice cream
Should you consult the expert dentist, Dr. Jennifer Silver at Southcentre Dental in Calgary, she will help you with all the information you need about wisdom teeth removal. She is happy to answer your questions and will set your mind at ease about what to expect.
- Wisdom tooth extraction
- Wisdom Teeth Removal: What Adults Should Expect
- 15 Soft Foods To Eat After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Dr. Silver graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Silver believes in treating the whole patient and has a special interest in helping patients with TMJ pain and sleep Apnea.