Everyone dreads the day when your dentist breaks the news that you have to get your wisdom teeth removed. Not everyone needs to get them removed, some people don’t even have wisdom teeth! But, about 85% of people have to. If you are one of the lucky ones that does have to get them removed, there is nothing to be nervous about. Getting your wisdom teeth extracted is a minor procedure that will require some recovery time, but is totally bearable. We’re going to go over everything you should expect for your procedure, how to prepare for it, and how to make your recovery as quick and easy as possible! First, let’s go over the basic facts:
Why Doesn’t Everyone Have to Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are your third molars that don’t grow into the gumline until adolescence, around 17-24 years old. Fun fact: they are called wisdom teeth because they grow in when you are no longer a child and are presumably gaining “wisdom!”
Sometimes when your wisdom teeth grow in they can become impacted. This means that there is not enough room in the mouth for them to properly grow in, and when/if they do they will crowd and push the other teeth causing them to shift. If your dentist sees there is not enough space and they won’t be able to grow in properly, you will have to get them removed.
How To Prepare
There is not much you can do physically to prepare to get your wisdom teeth out, but you can prepare mentally. If you are nervous about the procedure the best thing you can do is educate yourself. Talk to your dentist and ask them anything! They will be more than happy to address all of your questions and concerns, and you should not be embarrassed about it. You’re not the first patient to be a little nervous and definitely not the last! Some things you could ask your dentist are what kind of anesthesia will they be using, or if you’re on medication if it will interfere with the procedure and you should abstain from taking it that day.
You should also contact a friend or family member beforehand that will be able to bring you to and from the appointment, and maybe stick around after to help you out for a few hours while you’re still feeling the effects of the anesthesia.
All wisdom teeth are different which means all procedures are different. On average the entire procedure takes about an hour and a half. It could be quicker than that or it could be longer, it just depends on your teeth specifically and how many you are getting removed. The procedure taking longer than expected it nothing to worry about, and no matter what you will not feel a thing while it is happening.
The Recovery Process
Your dentist will give you post-procedure instructions before the procedure since you will still be a little groggy after. This is also why you might want to have a friend or family member around before and after. Your dentist will most likely advise you to keep your head up for a few hours and to keep gauze in your mouth to control the bleeding. Swelling and bruising around the area may occur which can be easily soothed by applying an icepack periodically.
As for eating, you will want to stick to soft foods such as yogurt, soup (not too hot though), pasta, smoothies and ice cream (yay!)
One extremely important thing to remember after getting your wisdom teeth out is to stay away from straws! The sucking motion from a straw can cause more bleeding, and can even cause a temporary condition called dry socket.
Recovery time is also different with every person. It usually takes about 3 to 4 days, or could sometimes take up to a week. You can resume most of your regular daily activities as soon as the following day, but you will need to avoid doing anything that will dislodge the stitches. This includes things like smoking, strenuous exercise, spitting, and again, using straws.
Getting your wisdom teeth removed is a regular surgical procedure that many people go through and that you should not be nervous about! Think of it as the only time in your life that you can eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without anyone judging you!
If you have any more questions or concerns about your wisdom teeth procedure, or about your oral health in general, feel free to reach out to us! We will be more than happy to help. Give us a call at 781-592-5919, or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.