There comes a time in most people’s lives when their wisdom teeth have to be removed. It is a routine oral surgery performed under anesthesia, and the recovery is relatively short. But, it is still surgery, and as such, there are steps that you should take to ensure that you are both prepared for the operation, as well as the healing process.
How do you prepare for your wisdom teeth surgery? Ask a lot of questions. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you ask your dentist and your oral surgeon some, if not all, of these questions – or, ones that would yield similar information.
1. How many of the wisdom teeth need to be removed? Often, they can remove all of them at the same time, saving you time and money.
2. Is sedation anesthesia necessary, or would local anesthesia – a simple numbing of the area – be possible?
3. Ask about the procedure details, duration and recovery period so that you will have a time frame for completion of the operation and healing.
4. Does someone need to drive me home after my surgery? If sedation anesthesia is used – which is often the case – you will need to arrange for post-op transportation, as you will not be in a condition fitting to drive.
5. Tell your doctors about all medications you are currently taking, and ask if medications that you will receive after your wisdom teeth surgery will interact negatively with them.
6. Before many operations, you will be required to fast, abstaining from food, drink or both. Be sure to ask about this if your doctor does not bring it up.
Here is a brief outline of the procedure itself, so you will know what to expect in that department.
– A small incision is created to exposure the tooth and its socket.
– If bone is obstructing the removal of the tooth, it will have to be removed first.
– The tooth is then extracted, sometimes in sections if that makes it easier for your surgeon.
– Stitches then close the incision and the wounds are temporarily packed with gauze.
Healing from wisdom teeth surgery requires diligence. We use our mouths throughout every single day, so you have to be cautious and consider what will help and what will hinder the healing process.
Activity will need to be limited after the surgery, for at least the remainder of the day. For the next week or so, you will want to avoid anything too strenuous that could put stress on the weak socket and fresh stitches.
Food and drink will obviously be points of concern. Drink water, and avoid alcohol, caffeine and carbonation for as long as your doctor recommends, at least 24 to 48 hours. With regard to eating, you will need to stick to soft foods for a while, being careful after moving to solids not to chew toward the back of your mouth or consume things that could get impacted in the socket.
Regardless of what you do to prepare for your wisdom teeth surgery, it is utterly critical that you follow the directions and advice of both your dentist and oral surgeon to guarantee the operation goes smoothly and healing occurs quickly.