Preparing for Wisdom Tooth Removal
While the removal of teeth in general can be relatively simple, the removal of wisdom teeth requires a higher degree of skill. Due to a lack of space for these teeth in the jaw, they are often impacted (stuck) requiring that they be removed surgically. Even when these teeth are erupted into the mouth, lower wisdom tooth proximity to nerves and upper wisdom tooth proximity to sinuses can make their removal anything but routine. Additionally, these particular teeth are only about a half inch in front of your tonsils. As tooth removal goes, the removal of wisdom teeth is typically the most demanding and therefore requires a higher level of expertise, and they are generally most comfortably removed under a monitored intravenous sedation.
When you come to the Center for Facial and Oral Surgery, you will have the benefit of doctors who not only have dental degrees but are also state licensed physicians. Both Doctors Nail and Dombrowski are also Board Certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and between them they have over 40 years of experience in this field. While patients may be understandably anxious at having to discuss their wisdom teeth, a consultation with our doctors is sure to put you at ease, as they explain how they will comfortably take care of you on the day of your procedure. The doctors’ expertise in surgical and monitored intravenous sedative techniques are designed to give you the least stressful tooth removal experience, the best opportunity for healing without complications, and the quickest recovery possible.
Before the surgery
Especially in cases where wisdom teeth have only partially erupted, and/or are impacted, you might feel pain or swelling as they try to erupt into a jaw that is already full of teeth. While a majority of patients today do ultimately get wisdom teeth removed (as many as 85%), those with particularly bothersome pain during their eruption are the most likely to need their emergency removal.
A key resource leading up to your procedure will be your surgeon. The questions you might have will be addressed fully by our doctors (as well as questions that you might not have thought to ask). Typical questions include, “Why do I need my wisdom teeth removed?”, “What does the procedure involve?”, “What is the recovery like?”, and “When will I be able to eat normal foods?”
Your surgeon will also have specific instructions for pre-surgery behavior, particularly as it relates to when you should start fasting before receiving your intravenous sedation.
During the surgery
During the pre-surgical consult, your surgeon will have explained to you the procedure in detail, answering all of your questions, so that you are aware of what will take place during your procedure. Of course, as most patients are sedated for this, you will be blissfully unaware of what is going on during the actual procedure itself!
After the surgery
If you were sedated for the removal of your wisdom teeth, you can expect to awaken gradually, wondering when the procedure is going to start, and without pain due to the local anesthetic given to you while you were asleep. Long before this local anesthetic wears off, you will be instructed to take your pain medication at home, so that once the local anesthesia does wear off, you remain comfortable. The majority of patients report minimal pain or soreness after surgery, and most are often able to return to daily activities within just a few days.
You’ll be given specific instructions from your surgeon that are appropriate for your case. However, a common rule of thumb is to avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously for 24 hours after your procedure, so as not to disturb the healing or promote bleeding.
That having been said, be sure to continue to gently brush your teeth and maintain your best oral care. Anything you leave up to chance can impede your healing process. These and other instructions will all be part of your discussions with your surgeon before and/or after your wisdom tooth extraction surgery.
Once all is said and done, you’ll be one of the 85% of patients who ultimately have wisdom teeth removed. In the best surgical hands, and you can feel confident that you will receive care from our doctors that will provide you the best experience and fastest healing.