If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to your wisdom teeth until they start causing problems. These third molars typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, but often don’t have enough room to come in properly, leading to pain, swelling, infection, and other issues. In such cases, your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend wisdom tooth removal to alleviate discomfort and prevent further complications.
But what exactly does wisdom tooth removal entail, and what can you expect during and after the procedure? Here’s a guide to help you prepare for this common dental surgery.
Before the Procedure
The first step in wisdom tooth removal is usually a consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon, who will examine your teeth and take X-rays to assess the position and size of your wisdom teeth, as well as any potential risks or complications. They may also ask about your medical history and any medications you’re taking to ensure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure and to avoid any adverse reactions.
If you decide to go ahead with wisdom tooth removal melbourne, your dentist or oral surgeon will typically schedule the procedure for a later date and provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare. This may include:
- Fasting for a certain period of time before the surgery to avoid nausea and vomiting.
- Arranging for someone to drive you home after the procedure, since you may feel drowsy or disoriented from anesthesia.
- Avoiding smoking or using tobacco products for several days before and after the surgery, as they can impede healing and increase the risk of infection.
- Stocking up on soft, bland foods and drinks that are easy to consume without chewing, such as yogurt, soup, smoothies, and water.
During the Procedure
Wisdom tooth removal is typically performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around the affected tooth and allows you to remain awake and alert during the procedure. In some cases, your dentist or oral surgeon may also use sedation to help you relax and reduce pain or anxiety.
The actual procedure may vary depending on the position and complexity of your wisdom teeth, but generally involves making an incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth, removing any bone that’s blocking the tooth, and then carefully extracting the tooth itself. Depending on the number of teeth being removed and the extent of the surgery, the procedure may take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour.
After the Procedure
Once the wisdom tooth or teeth have been removed, you’ll need to rest for a period of time to allow your body to recover. Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to follow, which may include:
- Applying an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling and pain.
- Taking pain relievers and antibiotics as prescribed to manage discomfort and prevent infection.
- Avoiding strenuous activity or exercise for several days to avoid dislodging blood clots or causing bleeding.
- Eating soft, bland foods and avoiding crunchy or sticky foods that could irritate the surgical site or get stuck in the extraction sockets.
- Brushing your teeth gently and avoiding rinsing your mouth too vigorously to avoid disrupting the healing process.
- Following up with your dentist or oral surgeon as recommended to monitor your progress and ensure that you’re healing properly.
While wisdom tooth removal can be a somewhat uncomfortable and disruptive experience, it’s usually a straightforward and safe procedure that can provide significant relief from pain and discomfort. By following your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions and taking care of yourself during the recovery period, you can minimize any complications and get back to your normal routine.