With age comes wisdom, wisdom teeth, and sometimes wisdom teeth pain. Wisdom teeth are the last set of molar teeth that come in, and, unfortunately, they can cause pain, impaction, and a host of other problems that make removal necessary.
Wisdom tooth extraction can provide patients with relief from pain, and improve the quality of life. However, many patients feel anxious about their recovery after the procedure.
If you have a wisdom tooth extraction scheduled or have just had the procedure done, there are many things you can do to assure a proper and successful recovery.
Plan before your operation
The best thing any patient can do is follow all the directions the dentist and healthcare professionals provide. The dental professionals at Scott Street Dental are experienced and compassionate and understand what procedures facilitate successful outcomes.
Bring a friend
You can begin preparing long before your operation occurs. While scheduling your procedure, try to choose an appointment before you have time off, so you can maximise your resting time after the extraction.
Also, plan your aftercare before the procedure. Many patients are anaesthetised, and this can leave them feeling groggy or dizzy for varying amounts of time after the procedure.
Having a family member or friend to provide transportation is necessary. Also, seeing a familiar face can help reduce any anxiety you may have before and after the procedure.
Prepare your home
It can also be helpful to prepare your home before you have the procedure. Create a plan for your wisdom teeth removal recovery. Patients are often prescribed painkillers and a soft, cool food diet. Preparing your food in advance and having ice packs available to help reduce swelling can help alleviate any post-surgery anxiety. Very few people feel like running errands on their rest day, so your future self will thank you for being prepared.
Immediately after procedure
It is imperative you follow all the instructions your team of healthcare professionals give you. Following directions can help make your recovery as successful as possible.
Immediately following the wisdom tooth extraction, a gauze pad will be placed over the wound. This pad should be kept in place for half an hour to an hour, and then can be removed. The pad will allow for a blood clot to form at the site of the extraction, and this clot formation will begin the recovery process.
Prevent blood clot dislodge
As the blood clot is vital for healing, it is essential you do not dislodge or remove it. Although it can be tempting to explore the new feel of your molar area, you should not touch the wound with your tongue. Licking can dislodge the clot or introduce bacteria to the fresh wound. Other ways the clot can be dislodged are brushing near the extraction site, excessively sucking on a straw when drinking, unnecessarily spitting, smoking, and drinking either too hot or too cold liquids.
Your anaesthesia will start to wear off within two to four hours of the operation. This will lead to a normal feeling of discomfort at the extraction site.
Your dentist will prescribe over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to help lessen your discomfort. Dentists may also prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat any infections, and it is essential you complete the entire course of these medications.
If you still have pain after taking the medications as prescribed, please call your Dental Practice and ask for help.
Keeping swelling down
Many people will also experience swelling around the site of the extraction during their wisdom teeth removal recovery. Placing ice packs on the swollen area 20 minutes at a time can help calm the inflammation and reduce swelling.
Keeping your head elevated while sleeping can also reduce the flow of blood to the extraction site and help prevent further swelling.
Rest as much as you can
You must rest after your procedure. Resting will allow your body to do what it needs to do – heal you.
Preventing dry socket
Dry socket is what occurs when the blood clot covering the tooth removal site is dislodged or dissolves. If the nerve or bone below the clot becomes exposed, then you may feel pain or develop an infection.
You don’t want your wisdom tooth extraction cost to include unnecessary complications, so keep well-hydrated, eat soft cool foods, and be gentle around the wound area to help prevent this condition from occurring.
The first few days after the procedure
After 48-72 hours from your operation, you should have noticeably reduced pain and swelling. However, if discomfort persists, continue to use medication and ice packs as needed.
At this point, resume gently brushing your teeth, while remaining careful not to dislodge the clot on the wound site. You still should not be eating any hard foods, nor should you resume drinking liquids via a straw.
If your mouth is feeling stiff or sore, try to do gentle mouth opening exercises to loosen the muscles. Continue to maximise your resting time and do everything you can to aid your body’s healing.
Follow up appointments
You may need to revisit your dentist if your bleeding or pain worsens, you develop dry socket, or if removing non-dissolvable stitches is required. However, in general, most patients will not have to schedule these types of follow-up appointments.
Many wisdom tooth extractions do not cause long-term complications. You can help your long-term recovery success by practicing good hygiene to prevent blood clot dislodging and infection and by getting enough rest.