When it comes to getting your wisdom teeth removed, it’s something that you’re definitely not going to want to navigate in the dark. That’s why this guide was created, to provide you with all of the information that you could possibly need about what to expect before, during, and after a wisdom teeth removal procedure. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
What is a wisdom teeth removal procedure?
A lot of the time, wisdom teeth don’t have enough room in your mouth to grow in without affecting your other teeth, which is why those between 17 and 25 years of age (give or take) often have their wisdom teeth removed. Not to mention, it also helps to reduce the risk of gum disease and/or tooth decay which is are common problems with wisdom teeth not being removed.
In a lot of cases, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon in order to have the wisdom teeth removal procedure done. When this is the case, you will your wisdom teeth removed surgically, and this is done while you’re under the type of anesthesia you and your dentist have chosen for the procedure.
Before Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure – Preparing for It
One of the questions that we hear the most is “how do you prepare for a wisdom teeth removal procedure”? And it’s something that we wanted to help you answer from day one. With that said, here is a quick breakdown of the steps that your should take prior to going through wisdom tooth surgery.
1. Stepping onto the path of wisdom tooth extraction with an educated mind.
If your dentist feels that it is necessary, they’ll refer you to an oral surgeon in order to proceed with wisdom tooth extraction. Prior to the day of the procedure, you will have an opportunity to learn more about the type of anesthesia that will be used as well as the procedure itself.
Think of this as the time to understand what you need to prepare for. It will help you develop a sound strategy and make the needed additions to ensure that things go as smoothly as they possibly can before, during, and after going through wisdom tooth removal surgery.
2. When the day for your wisdom tooth removal procedure arrives, be ready.
We all know that preparation is the key to success, and it’s no different when it comes to dental surgery in Houston. We’ve compiled a breakdown of the steps that you can take to be prepared for the day that it’s time for you to undergo wisdom tooth surgery.
· Shopping for groceries before your wisdom tooth removal procedure.
Getting your shopping done beforehand will eliminate the stress of last-minute shopping for wisdom teeth removal, and make sure that you can stay focused on a healthy recovery. At first, you will want to limit yourself to soft foods (such as applesauce or yogurt) for the first 24 hours. After that, you can start incorporating semi-soft foods into your diet.
Foods that are chewy, hard, spicy, or sticky tend to get stuck around the extraction site so avoid these until the extraction site has healed. The last thing that you will want to have to deal with is a “dry socket” or an infection that could have been prevented from the start.
· How much time will you need to request off from work for wisdom teeth removal?
You will want to take at least 3 days off from work if you have your wisdom teeth removed, even though some people have been seen returning to work in as little as a couple of days when their procedures weren’t complex. Be mindful that immediately after the procedure you will need to recover from the effects of the anesthesia and things tend to be a little bit sore during the first few days that follow the procedure.
· You may need to avoid eating anything for 12-24 hours before the procedure.
It’s not uncommon to be told not to eat or drink anything the night before your wisdom teeth removal procedure, and in some cases for 24 hours beforehand. This is to ensure that you don’t have any issues when anesthesia is administered and the procedure is underway.
3. Make sure that you’re set up for success when it comes to wisdom tooth recovery.
The day that it happens is when you really need to make sure that things are taken care of. You may not be able to do anything following the procedure, depending on how complex the extraction was and what kind of sedation was used. Below you will see some of the top things to ensure you have taken care of the day of wisdom teeth surgery.
· Dependent on the type of anesthesia used, you may need to have a driver with you.
If the anesthesia that’s used can hinder your ability to drive, you will need to make sure that you still have a ride home when the procedure is over. A lot of the time if anything more than a local anesthetic is used, you can write off driver until you have a chance to recover.
· If your wisdom tooth extraction was more complex, you might enlist the help of a sitter.
What we mean by this is that if you embrace general anesthesia or sedative anesthesia, you will be limited in what you can do on the day of your wisdom tooth removal procedure. A helping hand is something you can’t afford to write off, especially if you have kids to take care of.
· During the first few days, you will want to take it easy and relax as much as possible.
The reason for this is that you don’t want to dislodge the blood clot before your extraction site has had a chance to heal properly. If it dislodges, it could lead to “dry socket” or further complications. Just watch what you eat and what you do, and you will be safe.
During Your Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure – What to Expect
A person can’t help to wonder what the wisdom teeth removal procedure is like, and it’s for good reason as anyone would be when considering any type of surgery. That’s why the complete breakdown has been featured for you below, step by step.
First things first, things must be made as comfortable as possible.
Do they put you to sleep for wisdom teeth? It’s something that we get asked often.
There are 3 different types of anesthesia used for wisdom teeth removal, which have been outlined below for your convenience. The type that is used depends upon what is needed to bring you to a comfortable state as well as how complex the procedure is expected to be.
· General Anesthesia
This is one of the most powerful forms of dental anesthesia, as it can be administered via an IV as well as through the nose directly. There are times when both methods are used to ensure patients don’t experience any discomfort during the procedure. Due to how powerful this method is, a surgical team will be keeping you under a close eye to monitor your vital signs during your wisdom tooth surgery.
When it comes to the usage of this method for wisdom teeth extraction, it is saved for special circumstances (such as cases with higher levels of complexity). Since you are sleeping during the procedure, expect to feel nothing at all during the procedure or have any memory of it.
· Local Anesthesia
This is something that targets the location of your wisdom tooth specifically and is done via an injection at the extraction site. Expect to feel the movement during the extraction, but not to experience any pain even though you are fully alert throughout the procedure. This is usually administered when extractions are fairly simple.
· Sedation Anesthesia
Local anesthesia is used to numb your gums, but sedation anesthesia (which is administered via an IV like general anesthesia) is meant to suppress your consciousness during the wisdom tooth removal procedure. The memory will be limited, and you won’t be awake during the procedure. When this type of anesthesia is administered, appointments tend to take longer depending on the time needed to recover in the office.
Next, your dentist (or oral surgeon) will get straight to work.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the wisdom tooth removal procedure, from start to finish so that you know what to expect during it.
1. If needed, an incision is made to expose the bone and wisdom tooth.
This is the case with a lot of impacted wisdom teeth, where the gum tissue needs to be cut to help enable the extraction. It will also ensure that the bone is exposed so that determination can be made as to whether it needs to be removed as well or not.
2. Any bone that blocks access to the root of your wisdom tooth will be removed.
While this does rarely happen, it still happens. Your wisdom teeth can’t be removed unless there is bone removed that’s blocking it. Your oral surgeon will remove any bone that’s in the way to ensure that the wisdom tooth extraction proceeds smoothly.
3. There are times when the wisdom tooth needs to be broken into multiple pieces.
In order to make it easier for your surgical dentist to remove a wisdom tooth, it may need to be broken into several different pieces and then removed. When this is the case, it might sound like a painful experience, but anesthesia ensures that pain isn’t an issue.
4. The wisdom tooth is removed by your surgical dentist.
Once things are set in motion just the way they need to be, your dentist will proceed with extracting your wisdom teeth. This part of the process usually goes pretty quickly and you won’t be able to feel a thing.
5. Your dentist will clean up the extraction site.
Any bone or tooth fragments will be removed from their extraction site that may have been left behind during the extraction process. Your dentist will also ensure the area is clean to prevent the chance of any bacteria forming and causing infection after the procedure.
6. If necessary, you will receive stitches to help promote healing.
The stitches that are used usually dissolve on their own after a couple of weeks, but there are times when you may need to pay a visit to your dentist to have your wisdom teeth stitches removed. In a nutshell, the stitches close the wound up to allow for it to heal itself.
7. A gauze pad will be placed over the extraction site to help control the bleeding.
This may need to be changed out, so make sure that you don’t let it get out of hand. Basically, this is what will slow down/stop the bleeding from the extraction site. It will also help the blood clot at the extraction site which is what’s needed for it to heal properly.
Finally, you’ll be on the road to a successful recovery…
Embrace a Higher Level of Care for Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure in Houston
Dr. Jasmine Naderi of Best Dental in Houston has proven that she and her team can provide one of the highest levels of care when it comes to wisdom tooth removal in Houston. Whether you need a simple wisdom tooth extraction, or your needs are a little more complex, we’ve got you covered.
Just give us a call at the phone number listed on this page or submit a contact request via our secure contact form located here on the website. We’ll get you scheduled for your wisdom teeth removal procedure as quickly as possible.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Does removing wisdom teeth change face shape?
When wisdom teeth are removed, it may appear that it has changed the shape of one’s face at first, but this is not the case. Swelling is quite common after wisdom tooth extraction, but after the swelling goes down, one’s face will begin to contour once again to their natural facial structure. Therefore, removing wisdom teeth won’t affect your face shape in a negative manner.
How long does wisdom teeth surgery take?
Usually, the procedure will only last 45 minutes to an hour, but each case is different so it could take a little longer. Also, you may need to allow yourself time in a recovery room if a stronger anesthesia procedure was administered for the extraction.
How painful is wisdom teeth removal?
When you get your wisdom teeth removed, your oral surgeon can administer as much anesthesia as they see fit to ensure that the procedure is as painless as possible. Most of the time, you will be put to sleep for the wisdom teeth removal procedure (especially if your extraction is more complex).
Is wisdom teeth surgery safe?
Yes, but proper aftercare is critical to ensuring that you don’t have any infections or have the effects of a dry socket. This means that you need to care for the extraction site properly and ensure that it has everything that it needs to heal properly in the shortest amount of time possible.
Should I be scared to get my wisdom teeth out?
Absolutely not, this is a common dental procedure that is performed. Over the years the practice of wisdom teeth extraction has been refined to make things as comfortable as possible. Dental anxiety is common, and there are now ways to easily overcome it (such as with sedative dentistry).
When can I resume normal activities after a wisdom teeth removal procedure?
After 3 days you will be ready to let things get back to normal after having your wisdom teeth removed. After the first week, you can expect to resume your regular diet and routines without having to worry about being attentive and cautious when it comes to the wisdom tooth extraction site.