Wisdom Tooth Removal, What to Expect, and Tips for Safe Recovery

Dental surgery can be nerve-racking. Many people have anxiety around getting specific procedures, like wisdom tooth removal, and it can be good to understand the why and how to lessen apprehension. The extraction of wisdom teeth is general surgery and involves removing one or more wisdom teeth, four adult teeth at the back of the mouth. Wisdom teeth are the final adult teeth to appear, typically between ages 17 to 25, and it is common for them to become impacted. Some people have room for their wisdom teeth to come in without issue, but many patients have no room at all. 

Impacted wisdom teeth might grow on an angle, at a right angle, or stay trapped within the jaw bone. In this case, these teeth must be removed. Still embedded, wisdom teeth may cause pain, become infected, trap food and debris, and damage teeth nearby. If you suspect your wisdom teeth might be impacted, consult your dentist. 

What to Expect Before Surgery

So, your wisdom teeth have erupted, but you have no room. Never fear. We'll tell you everything to expect for your upcoming surgery. Depending on how many of your four wisdom teeth are impacted or how they are positioned, your dentist may perform the procedure in their office or refer you to an oral surgeon. 

Normally, your dentist will numb the area with local anesthetic and potentially sedation to ensure that you stay comfortable. Before the procedure, your dentist will inform you how the surgery will be done and how long it will take as well as the use of anesthetic. 

How to Prepare

Because wisdom tooth extraction can be a significant procedure and involves anesthetic or sedation, it is an "outpatient" operation, meaning you go home afterwards. While your dentist will give you more specific instructions on preparing, including when to arrive and when to stop eating the night before, it is also vital to set things up, so your recovery goes smoothly. 

Before your surgery:

Wisdom tooth removal can be a major operation, so it is also crucial that you take time off of work or school to heal without issue. 

After the Surgery and Risks

Following wisdom tooth extraction and after sedation or general anesthetic, you will spend a brief period in the dentist's office under observation. Before you go home, you will be supplied with gauze to keep the blood clots in their sockets and instructed to avoid spitting. Spitting can dislodge any blood clots and result in a painful condition called dry socket. When the clot is removed before the sockets are healed, your bone and nerves are exposed. 

For pain management, your dentist may provide a prescription or you may be able to use over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol. It is essential to follow directions closely when taking these pain relievers to ensure that you stay comfortable and your recovery goes smoothly. Swelling, which icepacks can manage, often improves after three days. Bruising can occur for longer. 

Eating, Drinking, Cleaning, and Signs of Infection

Dentists recommend drinking lots of water and eating only soft foods in the first 24 hours after surgery. Avoid hot, caffeinated, carbonated, or alcoholic beverages for the first 24 hours and stick to soft foods like yogurt and applesauce. Do not use straws for at least the first seven days to prevent dislodging the blood clot. Do not eat hard, chewy, seedy, hot or spicy foods for 24 hours or more. Wait 24 hours to clean your mouth or teeth, and be gentle when you resume brushing. You should rinse your mouth with salt water after eating and drinking for the next seven days. 

After wisdom tooth extraction, patients should not smoke for a week or more and should avoid strenuous activity for seven days. Signs of infection or complication include fever, difficulty swallowing, continuous bleeding, extreme pain, swelling that does not go away, pus at the extraction site, and a bad taste in the mouth that is not removed by cleaning. If you experience these symptoms, contact your dentist. 

We can help you remove your wisdom teeth at iSmile Dental in Langley.Book an appointment today!

Let us help you make your smile even more beautiful!

Book an Appointment Now ➔
Concerned about wisdom tooth removal? Ease your anxiety with iSmile Dental, your trusted Langley dentist. Search "dentist near me" and book an appointment today!