What To Expect from Wisdom Teeth Removal

Chances are, you know someone who had their wisdom teeth extracted. Thanks to evolution, wisdom teeth are usually problematic.

During prehistoric times, humans had larger, stronger jaws, ate coarser food, and frequently lost teeth. For those reasons, having an extra set of molars — your wisdom teeth are your third set of molars — was useful. Now, though, there’s a high probability that your wisdom teeth will become impacted and need to be removed. 

Impacted teeth cause problems

When your wisdom teeth can’t break through your gums, a process referred to as eruption, the potential for infection and other problems is high. Many people simply don’t have the space for wisdom teeth, and extraction is necessary. 

Before your procedure

You’ll likely need to take an antibiotic before your procedure, and you’ll need to avoid eating and drinking for several hours before your appointment. Our staff will give you specific, detailed instructions so you’ll be prepared.

You won’t be able to drive yourself home after the surgery, so you need to have a friend or family member come with you. You may also need assistance with your medication on the first day. 

During surgery

The type of anesthesia you get depends on several factors, including how complex your case is, your comfort level, and how many wisdom teeth are being removed, along with others. Generally speaking, there are three levels of anesthesia commonly used for wisdom tooth extraction procedures: 

Regardless of the type of anesthesia you’re given, our staff works to make sure you’re comfortable. Prior to your surgery date, your dentist discusses your options and makes a recommendation so that you know what to expect.

The procedure itself involves an incision in your gum, so your dentist can see your wisdom tooth and the underlying bone. Then the tooth is removed, sometimes in sections. The surgical site is cleaned, and you may get stitches.

Your wound is then packed with gauze to promote blood clotting and stop bleeding. 

Following surgery

We’ll give you instructions, but you’ll most likely have some bleeding during the first day. Depending on your specific situation, you may be given prescription pain medication or advised to take over-the-counter medications.

You should expect some swelling and maybe some bruising. Keeping your head raised should help. The swelling usually subsides within two to three days, but the bruising may take a bit longer to fade. Ice can help with both pain and swelling.

On the day of your procedure, you should plan to rest. The next day, you can resume most activities, but you shouldn’t lift anything heavy or do anything strenuous for at least a week.

You’ll need to eat only soft foods like yogurt or applesauce for the first 24 hours, then for four or five days you should stick to semi-soft foods like scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes.

Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure, and is generally well-tolerated. The skill of your dentist is critical for a good outcome, so choosing Roach Family Dentistry is a positive first step!

If you have more questions about what to expect, or about your individual circumstances, book an appointment online any time day or night, or call our office between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm, Monday through Saturday. 

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