Removing your wisdom teeth is a relatively quick surgical procedure usually lasting around 45 minutes total. Depending on how impacted your teeth are, it can take longer. Many people get their wisdom teeth removed during their teens and early 20s. That is because younger folks are able to recover much quicker as opposed to older ones. There is a lot of anxiety that leads up to the day of the procedure- Will it be painful? Will you be numb enough? Will the pain medications work? This article includes insight as to what you can expect prior to your wisdom teeth removal appointment, during, and the after care process.

An X-Ray Will Be Needed Prior To Any Procedure Taking Place

In order for your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate for wisdom teeth surgery, an x-ray will be ordered. This is so that your dentist can assess the impact your wisdom teeth are having on your gums. In some cases, your dentist will recommend only having two teeth removed. Other times, it may be necessary to remove all four teeth. Most of the time, we remove wisdom teeth because they cause overcrowding in our mouth and can impact other teeth. This overcrowding is sometimes really painful and can make your other teeth shift. If you wore braces when you were younger, you don’t want your teeth to shift as a result of your wisdom teeth. Additionally, overcrowding can place pressure on your gums causing them to swell and be difficult to clean. Uncleaned gums can lead to infection and potential tooth decay.

A Consultation Will Take Place Prior To Your Appointment

After your dentist decides a surgery will be necessary, you will then have your first consultation. Either your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon or if they manage wisdom teeth surgery they may schedule it for you at their office. Typically during the consultation, your surgeon will go over the x-ray images and explain the severity of the impacted teeth. The team will discuss with you the process from the moment you enter the office to the steps taken afterwards. This is also the time for them to discuss the price of wisdom teeth surgery. For most people, insurance will cover most if not all of the surgery. It is important to discuss with your doctor the cost of everything so that there are no surprises when you receive the bill. During this time, your doctor should show you the proper way to clean your open wound because that will be important to prevent the overgrowth of bacteria.

Eating or Drinking Prior to Surgery Is Prohibited

The night before your surgery is often the most nerve wracking. Make sure you avoid eating or drinking 12 hours before your procedure. This is because having food in your system while under anesthesia, can potentially be dangerous. If possible, have your surgery scheduled early in the morning so that you don’t have to spend long hours not eating. Make sure to keep your fridge and pantry stocked up with soft foods such as applesauce, jello, and pudding. You’ll need to eat soft foods for a bit to avoid trapping food in the open sockets. Your dentist will ask you the day of the procedure if you had any food or if you take any medications. Make sure to be honest when answering those questions. Especially if you use recreational substances, it is important to be transparent about that because it will impact the amount of anesthesia that will be provided to you.

After Care Instructions For Post Operation

Once you complete your surgery, you will feel groggy and tired. Make sure you have arranged for a ride to and from your appointment. Do not take the gauze out of your mouth unless you need to replace it. Make sure you rinse your mouth out with warm salt water at least five times throughout the day. This is important because salt water helps the wounds heal quicker. Your dentist may prescribe you pain medication such as hydrocodone. If you decide to take it, make sure you follow the instructions that your dentist gave you. These medications are strong and it is generally not recommended to drive when you are on them. If you prefer not to take narcotic medications, Tylenol or Advil can be taken for moderate pain every 3-4 hours. Expect to see some swelling around your cheeks within the next day. Ice will be helpful with the management of both pain and swelling. Finally, make sure to be gentle on the brushing. You wouldn’t want to accidentally poke the open wound.


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