You know you need to get your wisdom teeth removed, and you're nervous. You've heard plenty of stories of other people's experiences, each one different from the last. You're not sure what you should expect.
After the removal, you may feel some pain. It might also take up to 24 hours for the anaesthesia to wear off. Because of this, you should schedule at least two days off work or school.
After the initial two-day recovery, it will take between one to two weeks for your mouth to heal completely. Some people take longer to recover than others. You should be able to return to work or school soon, but you shouldn't plan to take part in intense activities right away-so hold off on that marathon.
Anaesthesia can make you feel groggy and disoriented, so it's not safe to drive yourself home after your wisdom tooth removal. Find a family member or friend who can take you home. Arrange a backup ride with another person, just in case.
If your dentist recommends a prescription pain reliever, ask him or her for the prescription before your surgery. Pick up the medicine from the pharmacy before your surgery so you're prepared.
You should also purchase some over-the-counter pain medicine, just in case you decide to stop taking the prescription medicine.
Since your mouth will feel sore after the surgery, you'll prefer eating soft foods. Stock your cupboards with some of the following:
- Fruit smoothies
- Mashed potatoes
As you recover, you'll slowly be able to add harder foods into your diet. But you shouldn't eat hard foods like popcorn or pretzels for six to eight weeks after your surgery.
Since you'll need a couple of days to recover at home, make sure you have ways to keep yourself entertained. Gather some of the following:
- Video games
- Colouring books
- Crossword puzzles
Whatever you like to do in your free time, now is the chance to do it.
Every wisdom tooth removal is different, so your dentist may have different requirements or suggestions for you. Make sure you get all the information you need by asking the following questions:
- How many teeth are you removing?
- Are the teeth impacted (inside the gums)?
- How long will the surgery take?
- How early should I arrive for the appointment?
- Do I need to fast before surgery?
- Do I need to avoid taking any medications before the surgery?
Let your dentist know about any medicines you take or any medical conditions you have.
Once you learn a bit more about wisdom tooth removal, you'll realise that it's nothing to fear.
Most people need their wisdom teeth removed because their wisdom teeth crowd their mouths so some of their other teeth can't grow properly. Some wisdom teeth grow only partially through the gums, creating an opening that attracts bacteria and can lead to disease.
The wisdom tooth removal process is straightforward. Your dentist:
- Makes a cut in your gum tissue
- Removes the tooth, either as a whole or in sections
- Cleans the cut
- Stitches the wound
- Places gauze over the cut
If you have any questions about the procedure, ask your dentist. Follow these tips to prepare, and you won't feel quite as nervous for your appointment.