If you’ve never had your wisdom teeth removed, you probably haven’t done much research on the matter aside from the (admittedly hilarious) videos of pour souls coming out of anesthesia. That is until your dentist tells you that you need to undergo that same procedure.
It’s normal and valid to be apprehensive! We’ll go over exactly what to expect during the procedure and how to practice good oral care after.
But first, a little of the why:
Firstly, understand that it is incredibly common to have wisdom teeth removed. Some dental professionals even recommend wisdom tooth removal even if there are no current issues where they are so commonly problematic.
Dentists and oral surgeons usually recommend wisdom tooth removal when they see that the teeth are impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can present in several different ways:
- They are growing toward the back of the mouth
- They are growing toward the neighbouring tooth
- They are growing horizontally within the gums
- They become trapped within the gums.
As you can imagine, all of the above can cause an incredible amount of pain and discomfort. It can also lead to issues with infection, tooth decay, damage to other surrounding teeth, cyst development, and interference with other dental or orthodontic procedures.
This reasoning is why it’s so important to consult with a reputable dental clinic if you’re ever unsure of the cause of any oral pain. If you’re based in Scarborough, check out the compassionate dental care professionals at the Dentistry at Consilium.
How the surgery works:
Either your dentist or an appointed oral surgeon will perform the procedure. It’s an outpatient procedure that takes about 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
Of course, you will be sedated. The sedation types chosen are usually general anesthesia, oral sedation, or sedation through an IV. Your surgeon will ultimately determine what sort of anesthesia is right for you.
The surgeon will create an incision in the gums and work to remove the wisdom teeth and will stitch the incision carefully when complete. To avoid excess bleeding and mess, the surgeon will apply plenty of gauze to the wound that should be changed by you as needed.
When they finish they will slowly reduce the anesthetic. You will eventually come back to earth – and you may be a little loopy. You likely will have little memory of anything that goes on immediately after you wake up, so try not to worry about saying anything silly. Most dental professionals expect a degree of groggy behaviour and laugh it off!
If you work, consider booking a day or two off to recover; the anesthetic will make you groggy and tired. Not only this but as it wears off there will be varying degrees of pain. Rest, whether in your bed or on the couch is the best remedy for that. Take over-the-counter painkillers like Advil or Tylenol as needed. If your dentist gives you different pain management directions be sure to follow those.
The mouth tends to heal quickly. Better yet, most dental surgeons will use stitches that dissolve on their own – usually after about 3 or 4 days. They’ll most likely recommend avoiding brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash for 24 hours.
After the 24 hours pass, you can gently resume brushing your teeth. Brushing helps prevent food from becoming ensnared within the stitches, something that can quickly become very problematic.
On the topic of food, be sure to steer clear of crunch! Items like a protein shake, soft pudding, and thin soup or broth are acceptable. There is no clear timeline for reintroducing hard foods. It’s important to listen to your body and evaluate your pain levels during recovery.
There’s no need to fear wisdom teeth removal. It’s one of the most common dental procedures after cavity fillings. Most dental care professionals likely could do it in their sleep! Plus, you may give everyone a good laugh upon waking up – what’s better medicine than that?
Besides that, dental care has advanced to such a degree that you can even book an appointment online! Check out Chaplin Dental’s online booking calendar for an exam date that best suits your schedule.