You don’t have to keep your wisdom teeth in order to have a beautiful, healthy smile. Furthermore, if left unattended, they can cause a lot of problems in the future: they can emerge in an angle, may crowd the mouth and not fully emerge. That’s why dentists usually recommend wisdom teeth extraction.
Wisdom teeth surgery has a high complication rate if not done professionally. That’s why it is advised to see a dentist or an oral surgeon who does the wisdom teeth removal routinely, and have excellent references. When you see your dentist or dental surgeon for consultation you have to make sure to ask the important questions below:
- Do all of my wisdom teeth need to be removed?
- How I can prepare for the operation?
- What are the risks?
- How long is recovery period, and how I can speed the process?
- What type of dental drill will be used? (It should be a special drill for oral surgery; the drill used for fillings and crowns should not be used as it can cause an air embolism, a serious complication).
- What kind of anesthesia will I get?
Here you have quite a few options:
- Local anesthesia. You will stay awake during the procedure. You will feel the pressure, but not the pain. In this case, the recovery time is the shortest.
- Sedation anesthesia (done through the IV along with local anesthesia to numb the site of the tooth to be removed). You will not feel any pain, and have little to no memory of the procedure.
- General anesthesia (done along with local anesthesia). You’ll have no pain, and no memory of the procedure. Usually offered for more complicated situation, because recovery period is much longer. Since half of the IV sedation still in your system 48 hours after, you have to make sure that someone is going to pick you up after this type of anesthesia.
- Combination of nitrous oxide gas and local anesthesia. Cheaper than IV sedation, but as effective. It takes only minutes to recover from nitrous, while it might take a few days to fully recover from IV anesthesia. Cons: some people get a little nauseated with nitrous, but that quickly goes away.
In case sedation is given to a child, it is highly recommended that professional anesthesiologist is performing the procedure. This is because children much more sensitive to sedation than adults.
How to get ready for the procedure:
- Before you go in for surgery make sure you brush, floss, and thoroughly rinse the mouth; you won’t be able to do it for a few days after the surgery.
- Set up a recovery area at home with water, elevated pillows, favorite music, TV, etc.
- Stock up on pre-made food. Soft meals, soups are great recovery food.
- Bring a heavy blanket with you to dentist office to reduce the anxiety.
- Bring a friend who had done this procedure before.
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing with layers.
- Bring in-ear headphones that isolate the outside noise.
At home after the procedure:
- Stay elevated for the first three days. The wound is in your face, so you’ll need to keep it elevated.
- Do not drink out of a straw, swish, or blow, no gulp or spit. No kissing either.
- Don’t smoke at all. Smoke can cause dry sockets and violets no “sucking” rule above.
- Ice on the outside of the cheek. You should have two packs of ice ready, so the one will be in the freezer while you use another one.
- No brushing for 2-3 days after the surgery.
- Drink lots of water. To stay hydrated is essential to the recovery process.
- No solid food for the first 24 hours. Broth, smoothies, or juices only, and they have to be lukewarm – not to hot and not too cold.
- Limit your activities. Remember that even mild activity might dislodge the blood clot in the wound, causing exposed bone and a painful dry socket.
Always call your dentist or oral surgeon if you develop following symptoms: difficulty of swallowing or breathing, excessive bleeding, pus around the extraction site,
loss of sensation, fever, unbearable pain that can’t be managed by prescription pain medicine, swelling that has gotten worse two to three days later.
Remember, tooth removal is a surgical procedure. To avoid complications and unpleasant surprises before, during, and after the removal make sure you do your research and educate yourself properly. Specialists at Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Allen are ready to answer all your questions regarding the wisdom teeth removal: 972-727-0011.