Abacus Dental Care, 52 Lennon Drive, Milton Keynes, MK8 0AS

What to expect when you have your wisdom teeth removed

It’s well known that some people never develop their wisdom teeth but those that do usually find that they erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Many people often experience infections or pain from their wisdom teeth and your dentist may advise removal of your wisdom teeth for a number of reasons. These include impaction (the teeth become trapped in the jawbone or gums), misalignment, tight spacing, and/or severe decay.

If your dentist has suggested that you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, you do not need to worry. While wisdom tooth removal does qualify as oral surgery, it’s safely performed every day in dental surgeries across the UK.

Pre operative procedure

Before your wisdom teeth are removed, your dentist will discuss the complexity of the procedure as your dentist may be able to remove them in your routine practice or you may have to be referred to an oral surgeon for the extraction.

No matter where you have your wisdom teeth removed, your dentist or the surgeon will ask you about your medical history, discuss the process for your surgery, and answer any questions you may have about the procedure. After this, you will then need to schedule your appointment for the extraction. We advise that you ask a friend or family member to drive you home from the appointment, and plan to rest for the rest of the day; you may need to prepare to have a day or two off from work for recovery. In almost all cases, wisdom tooth removals allow you to go home the same day as your surgery.

Wisdom tooth removal procedure

Once you arrive at the practice for your surgery, one of our nurses will greet you and call you through to the surgery to get comfortable. The dentist will walk you through the process once more before they begin any treated and will then prepare to numb the area with local anaesthetic, other options are available but will need to be discussed at the assessment appointment.

Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, the dentist will start to remove your wisdom teeth. During the procedure you may feel some pressure, pulling and tugging sensations but you shouldn’t feel any pain, in case you do, raise your left arm (the dentist will have explained this before injecting) and the dentist will stop and administer more anaesthetic.

In surgical wisdom teeth extractions, your dentist may need to make incisions in your gums or drill into the jawbone in order to remove your wisdom teeth. If this happens, they’ll most likely use dissolvable sutures to close the wound and to help with healing. The socket after extraction may be packed with gauze after; most wisdom teeth removals take less than an hour.

Post operative instructions

Most people will experience some swelling or discomfort in the first few days after surgery, and it generally takes a few weeks for healing to be complete. The speed at which healing takes place is strongly influenced by how closely you follow the post operative instructions, so it’s within your best interest to follow the guidelines below.

  • Rest for the rest of the day after your surgery, avoid strenuous physical activity for the first 24 hours or so after your surgery because high-impact activities may dislodge the blood clots from their sockets
  • Eat soft and cold foods for 24-48 hours after the procedure such as soup, yogurt and rice and introduce slightly firmer foods when you feel ready
  • Avoid hot beverages or foods for 24 hours and avoid smoking or drinking alcohol for 24 – 48 hours after
  • Follow the brushing advice your dentist outlines as you may be told to not brush for a short period following the procedure
  • To avoid dry socket (a painful condition where the blood clots are dislodged, which exposes the bone and nerves), avoid drinking through a straw, spitting, rinsing or eating hard and sticky foods while your mouth is still healing
  • Call your dentist if you experience excessive bleeding, a fever, severe pain, swelling that gets worse after a few days, persistent numbness around the sockets, and/or difficulty breathing or swallowing

While wisdom tooth removal may seem daunting it is a routine procedure that is performed everyday, and it’s incredibly important to listen to your medical professional’s specific advice on removing your wisdom teeth. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort with your wisdom teeth, please contact us at Abacus Dental Care by calling us or booking online.

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