Did your dentist mention the prospect of removing your wisdom teeth and you're unsure of what to expect? Don't worry, plenty of other patients are in the exact same boat and don't really know what this procedure entails. Thankfully, extraction is a very simple and fast surgery with minimal healing time. Here is a brief overview of what to expect when getting your wisdom teeth removed.
The Number of Teeth Pulled
The extent of your extraction will depend on a number of factors including your current comfort level with where your wisdom teeth are currently located as well as an examination of your X-rays. Through examining these documents, your dentist will be able to see the full extent of where your wisdom teeth reside. Some patients, for instance, may only need one or two wisdom teeth removed given that they cause no discomfort and do not appear to be pushing any other teeth forward. Others may require all four wisdom teeth removed as they are otherwise at risk of their teeth becoming cramped together. Age, medical history, and reactions to anesthesia will also all play into how your extraction will be performed.
The Extraction Process
Depending on how many teeth you're having removed as well as what type of pain relief you'll be undergoing, the extraction process will vary. For those who are only getting one or two extractions, for instance, patients may only be placed under laughing gas or undergo a localized anesthetic. For those who have a larger extraction ahead of them or may deal with anxiety when it comes to dental procedures may instead be placed under general anesthesia. Once your wisdom teeth are surgically extracted, stitches will be put into place that will eventually dissolve over the next few days.
The expected recovery time from your wisdom tooth extraction again depends on how many teeth are being removed. In general, wisdom teeth extraction procedures take at least two weeks to fully heal with the majority of comfort returning to the patient after just a few days. Expect the next two or three days following your surgery to take it easy and get plenty of rest. You'll be asked to be on a soft foods diet only to allow your incisions to heal properly so stock up on plenty of jello, soup, and mashed potatoes! Ice packs can be a great way to incorporate a cold compress into your recovery time to allow for relief from swelling as well.
Contact a local dental office to learn more.