How to Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most common dental procedures and reparation is important.
If you prepare for recovery in advance, you’ll have an easier procedure, and a quick and easy healing process.
Here are 6 useful ways to prepare for wisdom tooth removal:
- Taking Vitamin D – this is good for your bone health
- Drinking healthy green (fruit and vegetable) juices
- Avoiding sugar – this causes inflammation
- Leaving junk food out – these depress your immune system
- Avoiding stress in general – this has an impact on your immune system. Try to keep a good attitude, as the more relaxed you are in the Dental chair the better your procedure will go
- Making use of your favourite relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, listening to music, or taking relaxing baths
Today I’ll discuss in detal how to prepare yourself further for wisdom tooth removal – both before and after the surgery.
This includes what happens during wisdom tooth removal, and tips to help ease yourself through the procedure so there’s no need for stress – after all, worrying is the worst thing you can do.
Preparation Before Wisdom Tooth Removal
As mentioned, preparing is an important part of the whole thing.
If you are going to have any surgery done, it is a wise idea to get your immune system in good condition, as this will help with your body heal itself afterwards.
Good nutrition and good hydration will get you prepared for the healing process.
Your Dentist will provide you with general information about wisdom tooth removal before your procedure.
However, important questions you may want to get answered.
Widsom Teeth: 8 Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist
- How many wisdom teeth are going to be removed?
- Have my wisdom teeth caused any damage to my other teeth?
- What type of anaesthesia will you be using?
- Am I still able to take any prescription medication/s I am currently using on the day?
- How long will the procedure take?
- How complicated do you expect my procedure to be?
- Is there any risk I might experience nerve damage?
- How long do you expect my recovery period to take?
Knowing the below information will also help you prepare for your day of surgery;
- If your surgery is being performed using general anaesthetics, someone will have to drive you home – be sure to arrange this beforehand. Just ask a friend or family member to come along to the clinic with you.
- General anaesthetics can also make you vomit – so it may be recommended that you start fasting at midnight prior to surgery. Foods containing high dosages of sugar are the worst and should be avoided at all costs.
- You will need pain relief after surgery – prepare beforehand by buying icepacks and over-the-counter painkillers. If your Dentist is going to prescribe you a stronger painkiller, ask them if it’s possible to give you the prescription a day early so you can pick it up before your procedure, avoiding a trip to the chemist after surgery.
- After wisdom tooth removal, you are going to need to rest, relax and allow your body time to recover. Book 3 – 4 days off work and prepare yourself a comfortable area in your home to enjoy your favourite form of entertainment, such as watching TV or reading a book. Chances are you’ll fall asleep whilst relaxing, as the anaesthesia will remain in your system for 24 hours.
- You won’t be able to eat solid foods for 4 days after surgery, so stock up on soft foods such as yoghurt, cottage cheese, and bananas.
What Happens During Wisdom Tooth Removal?
Here is a basic sample of a wisdom tooth removal procedure, so you know what to expect, and have no reason to stress!
By now, you should know what type of anaesthesia your Dentist or oral surgeon will be using during your procedure.
They may be using one of four types, depending on the complexity of your wisdom tooth removal and your comfort level.
The options are;
If using local anaesthesia, you will be awake throughout the procedure.
However, you will only feel pressure and movements in your mouth, but no pain. Local anaesthesia is given to you through one or more injections near the tooth that is being removed.
Before the injection, your Dentist or oral surgeon will apply a numbing substance on your gums.
Sedation anaesthesia is administered through an intravenous (IV) line in your arms.
It is also referred to as Sleep Dentistry
The sedation ensures your consciousness is supressed during the procedure, so you don’t feel any pain, and have very limited memory about the procedure. You will also receive a local anaesthesia to numb your gums.
General anaesthesia is only used in special circumstances. It is an intravenous (IV) line that is administered in your arms, nose, or both, that makes you lose consciousness immediately.
Your temperature, breathing, blood pressure and fluids must be closely monitored by the medical team.
You will not feel any pain or have any memory of the procedure. You will also receive a local anaesthetic to assist with any post-operative pain.
Nitrous and Local
A combination of local anaesthesia and nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) is mostly given to anxious patients.
It is cheaper, effective, and has a short recovery time.
If you feel anxious about your procedure, feel free to discuss this option with your Dentist.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
Your wisdom tooth removal procedure goes a little something like this;
- Your anaesthesia is used as necessary, to numb your mouth or suppress your consciousness.
- An incision is made in your gum tissue, exposing your wisdom tooth and bone.
- Any bone blocking access to your wisdom tooths’ root is removed.
- If necessary, your wisdom tooth is divided into two sections (making it easier to remove in pieces).
- Your wisdom tooth is removed.
- The extraction site is cleaned of any debris of tooth or bone.
- If necessary, stitches are placed over the wound to speed healing.
- Gauze is placed over the extraction site to control bleeding and assist with the formation of a blood clot.
- If you received sedation anaesthesia or general anaesthesia, you will be taken to a recovery room. If you received local anaesthesia, your recovery time is brief and in the Dental chair.
3 Tips for Staying Comfortable During a Wisdom Tooth Removal
Some tips that I can give you to ensure you stay as relaxed and comfortable as possible during your procedure include;
- Bring a friend with you that has had the procedure before – Have them stand with you and hold your hand.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing – If you are getting an IV, short sleeves will help. You may want to bring a blanket or jumper as you will probably get cold after the procedure. Loose, comfortable pants are also recommended – just be as cosy and comfortable as possible.
- Distract yourself – A great tip to stop you thinking about something that might be making your anxious is to distract yourself. Try bringing some headphones and listen to music – this also blocks out a lot of noises.
What to Expect After Wisdom Tooth Removal
After wisdom tooth removal, you can expect to feel pain, and see bleeding, swelling and bruising.
However, you should begin to see gradual improvement every day, and, in general, you can expect to recover from the pain and swelling wisdom tooth removal within one week, with bruising healing after a fortnight.
Tips for a Quick Recovery
Recovery for a dental procedure, like Wisdom Teeth removal goes better for those who keep a healthy lifestyle.
Also, age plays a factor – the younger you are, the quicker you tend to recover.
The best thing you can do is keep a healthy, positive attitude. Worrying is the worst thing that you can do – it will only aggravate and intensify your situation, so don’t stress, just rest and relax.
You also need to avoid several substances, so you do not lose your blood clot. If you do, you will get a dry socket.
Dry socket stops your wound healing itself, and you will find yourself in excruciating pain from exposure to air, food and liquid.
8 Things to avoid before removing your Wisdom Teeth
- Soft Drinks
- Solid Foods
Preparation is the key for having a comfortable and easy time in the Dental chair during a wisdom tooth removal procedure.
Ensuring you have all your facts straight will relieve you from any need for concern, so ask your Dentist any questions you have prior to surgery.
Otherwise, good nutrition and hydration will help you have a fast healing process, and ensuring you prepare your house with pain relief, to be a place for rest and relaxation – and you’ve got all boxes ticked for a comfortable procedure!
See our article “How to Prevent Panic Attacks at the Dentist” for more ideas on how to keep calm!
By Dr Veronica Roller
Created at October 11, 2019, Updated at March 06, 2020