Preparing for your wisdom teeth removal surgery
Not every wisdom tooth needs to be removed – even when you feel some tooth pain or gum swelling from your wisdom teeth. There are times that the teeth can be saved and repaired, or the gum inflammation treated. However, it remains true that in certain cases, people need to undergo wisdom tooth removal surgery. These teeth are usually teeth that can not be cleaned properly or in cases where the gum is always infected or swollen as a result of the wisdom teeth.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding out there about what is involved with wisdom tooth removal surgery, and how a person should prepare for it. There are steps that you should take to prepare for the surgery and improve your understanding of what’s involved, and it can make the process less daunting for you.
Preparing for the surgery
Before you have the surgery itself, you will have a consultation with your dentist, who will outline for you anything you might particularly need to do. These could pertain to your diet and medications that you’re currently taking and making sure you’ve eaten and have rested prior to the surgery. If you’re a smoker, for example, your dentist will likely suggest that you stop smoking in the leadup to, and recovery from, the surgery. This is to reduce the risk of any unwanted complications that smoking can be associated with such as dry socket, delayed healing and subsequent infections of the surgical wound.
Depending on how complex the surgery is, wisdom tooth removal can be done under a local anaesthetic, intravenous sedation or a general anaesthetic. If it’s a relatively simple procedure, a local anaesthetic will suffice, and you won’t need to take any special preparation steps there. At Parramatta Dental Studio we provide wisdom tooth surgeries and removal under local anaesthetic. If the surgery is more complex our clinicians will refer you to an oral surgeon or oral maxillofacial specialist who will then discuss with you the procedure performed under intravenous sedation or general anaesthetic. Some details will include fasting prior to the procedure and making sure you are accompanied to your appointment so that you can be accompanied home after your treatment has been completed.
Should I take time off work?
If the wisdom tooth is extracted under a local anaesthetic there will be no surgical wound and you’ll be able to return to work the next day provided you feel well enough to and are not in too much discomfort – the effects of the localanaesthetic will wear off after a few hours.
If, however, the procedure takes place under a general anaesthetic and you require the surgical removal of the wisdom tooth or teeth, then recovery times are longer. It’s generally recommended that you allow 24 hours of real resting time and have someone around to stay with you and keep an eye on you. Following a surgical wisdom tooth removal you may have some tenderness, pain and swelling from the site and it is recommended that you take 7-10 days off work to allow time for the swelling to reduce, especially if your role requires a lot of speaking and liaising with clients.
The recovery itself won’t affect your ability to work in most cases, unless you need to perform any tasks like heavy lifting and strenuous exercise or running. Over the counter painkillers will be sufficient for most people (you might be given some stronger ones by your dentist for the immediate post-operation period), and you’ll want to stick to soft foods for the first couple of days, but otherwise you’ll be mobile and the risk of the wound opening will be minimal as the dentist will suture the area as necessary.
Your dentist will provide you with other recovery instructions, around how to keep the mouth clean, how to brush your teeth, and what to do if a wound does re-open itself. None of this is onerous and you won’t need assistance for any of it.
In short, most wisdom toothremovalsare a routine procedure, and most people experience very minimal disruption to their lives post operatively. If you are worried about the pain, or work in a particularly strenuous job, then preparing for the surgery by booking some of days leave might be a good idea and ensuring you follow the dentist’s instructions before and after the surgery is crucial. If you have any questions related to the procedure, please do not hesitate to call one of our friendly staff and we can answer any questions that you have.