What to Expect with Wisdom Teeth Extraction
If you are getting ready for an upcoming wisdom tooth extraction, or you believe one may be in your future, this article will hopefully calm your nerves a bit. By knowing what you can expect, you can prepare yourself mentally to go through with the procedure with little drama or fuss. In the end, you’ll be happy you had the work done, as your oral health should be greatly improved over the long run.
Some Prep Work to be Done
As you might expect, you aren’t just going to walk into the dentist’s office for the first time and have your wisdom teeth1 pulled on the spot. The dentist is going to need to complete an exam first to make sure they actually need to be pulled and any other issues that might be present. Only after an appropriate exam has been completed will your extraction be scheduled, assuming that is the way you decide to go.
A Variety of Reasons
Your dentist may recommend having your wisdom teeth extracted for a variety of reasons. For one thing, they could be impacted, meaning they didn’t come in properly and are causing problems in the back of your mouth. Also, you might have developed a cavity or gum disease as a result of struggling to clean these teeth properly. They are located so far back in the mouth that it can be hard to get them as clean as they need to be. Whatever the reason, be sure to talk through the options with your dentist to make sure you understand the situation fully before signing off on an extraction. This is the right way to go for many people, but there is no need to rush into it – get all the information you can and make an informed decision.
The Procedure Should Be Painless
This is where the common perception of wisdom teeth extraction seems to deviate from reality somewhat. If you are picturing yourself sitting in agony in the dental chair as your dentist works to get the teeth out, you are way off base. Thanks to anesthesia, you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure, and you should be totally comfortable. There are various types of anesthesia available for wisdom teeth extraction, so you can discuss it with your dentist which will be best in your case. Many people become much more comfortable with the idea of a wisdom teeth extraction when they learn that they won’t feel any of the work that is done during the surgery.
Recovery Can Be the Challenge
While the surgery itself should be comfortable and painless, you may feel some discomfort associated with the healing process, but it is tolerable for most people. The best thing you can do here is to follow the recommendations of your dentist for the recovery process. You may be encouraged to use an ice pack to deal with the likely swelling, and you’ll almost certainly need to adapt your diet for at least a few days. Chewy foods are not a good idea in the aftermath of having your wisdom teeth pulled, so you’ll want to stick with soft stuff that is easy to get down with minimal chewing.
A good way to think about your recovery is that you want to be as gentle as possible with everything you do. Your mouth has been through trauma while having the teeth pulled, so it is going to need some time to heal itself. Treat your mouth with care for at least a few days, or however long it takes for you to feel healed and back to normal.
Get a Jump on Father Time
If at all possible, it is a good idea to tackle this task sooner rather than later. As time goes by, your wisdom teeth can become harder to extract, leading to a more painful recovery if you wait years down the road. It is common for those in their late teens or early 20s to have these teeth pulled. With that said, don’t write off the possibility of this type of surgery just because you are a bit older – simply check with your dentist to get all the info you need on what an extraction would look like in your case.
Much of the focus in advance of a wisdom teeth procedure is on the surgery itself, as well as the recovery. That’s understandable, but as the patient, we think you should focus on something else – the relief you are likely to enjoy when all is said and done. If you have been in pain as a result of the way your wisdom teeth have been sitting in your mouth, you should be able to say goodbye to that pain once and for all after you’ve healed from the surgery. As the swelling goes down and your mouth begins to heal, you’ll start to notice how much better you feel – and a pain that has been plaguing you for years may finally be eliminated.
Thank you for stopping by Spokane Dental. Whether it is a wisdom teeth extraction or some other type of procedure that you have on your radar, our team will be happy to help. Give us a call during business hours to ask any questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment2. We are excited to serve you!