What To Expect When Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are extra teeth that appear at the back of the mouth around ages 17-25. They are commonly removed because many people don’t have room in their jaws, and because they often come in at a bad angle and push against other teeth. This is called “impacting.” So if your dentist tells you they need to come out, what process are you looking at? Here are a few things you can prepare for.
Arrange to be off work or out of school because you will need to stay in bed at least a couple of days and may not feel up to normal work for a week. High school and college students usually try to have it done on a break.
There are different levels of anesthesia that a dentist or oral surgeon might give you. The most basic is local, where they just numb your mouth with shots of Novocaine and you stay conscious during the whole procedure. If they think you need a little more, they can give you nitrous oxide. The highest level is general anesthesia, in which they put you to sleep completely and you don’t wake up for a couple of hours. At Apple Valley, we don’t use general anesthesia, but we d
Make sure to answer your surgeon’s questions about any drugs you take or health conditions you have, because what anesthesia you get may depend on that. Safe anesthesia is actually one of the most critical parts of any surgery.
Once the procedure is done and you’re awake, the surgeon or assistant will tell you to bite down on the gauze over the extraction sites. The sites will be actively bleeding for a little while, but the bleeding should stop in less than an hour. After active bleeding has stopped, change out the gauze ever 30-45 minutes.
If you were put under general sedation, you can’t drive for the rest of the day, so arrange a friend or relative to drive you.
Care of the site
The holes where your wisdom teeth were need time to heal and you should disturb them as little as possible. Follow these pointers:
- Don’t gargle, though your dentist may recommend a gentle salt and water rinse.
- Don’t drink through a straw, as the pressure change of sucking may dislodge blood clots.
- Don’t smoke for at least five days. Smoke will slow down the healing. Ideally, you would want to quit smoking for your dental health.
- Eat soft foods like pudding, rice, and pasta. Avoid anything crunchy, sticky, or hard.
- Use an ice pack if your cheeks are swelling.
- If no swelling, but your jaw hurts, use a hot water bottle.
Care of the rest of you
Make sure you get enough to eat and drink. You might not have much of an appetite, but eating will help you rest better, which will help you heal.
You will probably feel your worst for the first two days, then feel a little better each additional day. If you don’t feel some improvement after that, please let us know. If you have any further questions, please call Apple Valley Dental Group at 540-635-2493 or reach out to us online.