What to Expect if You Are Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted

Wisdom teeth often need to be extracted because there isn’t enough space in the mouth to accommodate this last set of molars. Other potential reasons you could need wisdom teeth removal include:

  • Impacted wisdom teeth which are stuck in your jawbone or gums, 
  • Growing at a wrong angle
  • Unable to properly clean them
  • They are infected

Your dentist will take x-rays of your wisdom teeth and determine whether or not they need to be removed and how complicated the procedure will be. At Kite & Key Dentistry, we understand that wisdom tooth extraction can be a nerve-wracking experience for our patients, which is why we offer dental sedation to put you at ease.

Before Oral Surgery

Before the day of the surgery, you will need to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to find out more details about the procedure such as what type of anesthesia will be required. You can generally expect to receive either local anesthesia, laughing gas, IV sedation, or general anesthesia.

You will need to adhere to the required preparation rules for the type of anesthesia or sedation you will be receiving. Most forms of anesthesia require some form of fasting for a certain period, so ask how long you need to refrain from eating or drinking before extraction.

Inform the oral surgeon of any medications you are taking or pre-existing conditions you have and inquire as to whether or not you can take over-the-counter medication before the surgery.

You will need to arrange for a ride home from your wisdom tooth removal, especially if you are receiving general anesthesia. While it’s possible to drive yourself home after receiving some milder forms of anesthesia, it’s best to avoid this in case you feel too tired. Likewise, you may need to take the day off from work and any other activities while you recover after surgery.

The Procedure

You will be administered anesthesia and will not feel any pain during the procedure, which will last for about 45 minutes. Wisdom teeth can be removed surgically or non-surgically. Non-surgical extraction involves loosening the teeth in the socket with a dental elevator and then extracting them with forceps.

A surgical extraction is involved when an incision needs to be made into the gums or the jawbone to remove the teeth. After a surgical extraction, the socket is stitched up with dissolving stitches. If non-dissolving stitches are used, you will return to have the stitches removed.

Extraction Aftercare

You will likely feel considerably tired after the extraction from the anesthesia. If you received general anesthesia, you will wake up in a recovery room a little after the extraction was performed. You’ll likely need someone to drive you home and watch over you for the rest of the day.

You will experience some bleeding and swelling after surgery. Recovery time ranges from 3 days to a week. After having wisdom teeth surgically extracted, you will be given gauze to place in the sockets and allow the blood to clot. You will need to regularly change the gauze when they become soaked with blood.

It’s important not to disturb or dislodge your blood clots which can interfere with healing and lead to a dry socket, which is extremely painful. Do not smoke, drink alcohol or caffeine, or suck anything through a straw. You should avoid all forms of suction, including slurping and spitting.

To clean your mouth for the first day, you will need to gently swish around a saline solution and lean over the sink to let it fall out instead of spitting. Do not brush or floss for the first 24 hours and only eat very soft foods. Consume lots of liquids and take pain medication to relieve any pain.

To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the area for the first 24 hours and if swelling continues, switch to moist heat. Abstain from strenuous exercise for a few days to a week, depending on how you’re feeling. Heavy impact movements can dislodge your blood clots and lead to a dry socket. Start easing back into physical activity with low-impact movements like stationary strength training.

Wisdom Tooth Removal at Kite & Key Dentistry

Are you experiencing symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth? Are your third molars sore, tender, and painful? Contact us at Kite & Key Dentistry today to find out more about wisdom tooth removal. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Julia Winter so we can examine your teeth and take x-rays to get a closer look and determine your options.

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