Wisdom teeth are called as such because they grow as a person matures. Normally appearing between the ages of 17 to 25, they are the last adult teeth to emerge at the rear part of the mouth. People typically grow a total of four wisdom teeth in their lifetime with two each at the top and the bottom. Wisdom teeth are “impacted” when they emerge in the wrong direction, affecting the health of the adjacent teeth and the jaw. If this occurs, a removal procedure with the dentist must be arranged. Common symptoms that help identify if dental intervention is necessary are: tooth and mouth aches, jaw injury, misaligned bite, swollen gums, cavities, and sinus problems. If you experience these issues, promptly schedule an appointment with your dentist. On the condition that wisdom teeth emerge fully and are positioned properly, they do not need to be removed. However, preventative action can be done to avoid future discomfort. Surgery can become more difficult as a person ages because the bones grow stronger. Waiting too long could cause severe bleeding, damaged teeth, and loss of feeling and control on the mouth and jaw.
If an extraction appointment is already in place, use this guide for pre- and post-operation do’s and don’ts.
Before the surgery
- Discuss medications with the doctor. Certain drugs react with the anesthesia used in wisdom teeth removal. Make sure to be transparent to avoid complications during the surgery.
- Stock up on post-op necessities like soft food and beverages, pain medication, and cold compresses to reduce activity after the operation.
- Dress comfortably. A loose shirt with short sleeves is recommended in the case of intravenous injections. Wear shoes that you can easily step in and out of to avoid unnecessary bending. It is imperative to minimize your movement to avoid problems.
- Don’t eat and drink the night before your appointment. A person might be at risk of regurgitation and ensuing airway obstruction if anesthesia is administered on a full stomach. Take meals earlier to prevent complications.
- Don’t forget to clean your teeth thoroughly. Sanitize the mouth properly to keep it clear of debris that might cause infections to the surgical area.
- Don’t bring unnecessary items in your “surgery bag”. Pack light to find necessities faster. This can save the patient or their companion’s time when finding documents, IDs, or cards needed post-op.
After the surgery
- Take proper rest. Avoid strenuous activities so as to not aggravate the surgical area.
- Take medications when necessary. Consult with the dentist for the best pain-relief medications in case of post-surgery pain. Make use of cold compress to help relieve inflammation in the mouth as well.
- Take note of heavy bleeding. Seek advice from the dentist immediately for a quick assessment.
- Don’t drive yourself home. Effects of anesthesia may take time to wear off, inhibiting proper use of mental faculties needed when driving. Make appointments with family, friends, or hired vehicles prior to your dental appointment.
- Don’t eat hard, hot, or spicy food. These types of food may irritate the extraction site. Opt for soft food such as soups, eggs, and mashed potatoes instead.
- Don’t brush your teeth too hard especially near the surgical area 24 hours post-op. Use mouthwash and gargle gently to sanitize the area in the meantime.
Any medical treatment with the words “extraction” or “surgery” attached to it can sound frightening, but wisdom teeth extraction is completely safe. A quick visit to a good, thorough dentist will greatly ease feelings of anxiety common before any surgery. Book a consultation now to receive the exceptional care and treatment to make your smile a beautiful and painless one.