Let’s face it: no one looks forward to their wisdom teeth removal. For some people, the idea of getting their wisdom teeth out is terrifying, leading them to postpone the procedure as long as possible. Others might think of it as no more than a minor inconvenience, as they’ll need to take a few days off work to rest and recover. Whatever the case, wisdom tooth extractions are nothing to be afraid of, and the better you prepare and take care of yourself, the better your experience will be.
At Mer Bleue Dental Centre in Orléans, our dentists are here to make your wisdom teeth removal as quick and painless as possible. Our oral surgeons have years of experience performing a range of dental surgeries, including root canals, dental implants, and wisdom teeth extractions. When you visit our dental clinic for your next dental treatment or procedure, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. That said, here are a few wisdom teeth preparation and aftercare tips to help ensure that you have an uncomplicated procedure and a smooth recovery.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Preparation
As with other types of oral surgery, the better you prepare for your wisdom teeth removal, the fewer complications you (and your dentist or oral surgeon) can expect to run into. Prior to scheduling your wisdom tooth surgery, your family dentist will go over some pre-procedure instructions. These will include the following:
- Don’t eat or drink. Depending on the method of dental sedation (often referred to as “sleep dentistry”) that will be used during your wisdom teeth removal, your dentist will provide specific instructions for how long you should fast before the procedure. Typically, this is approximately eight hours of fasting, so if you are worried about getting hungry or thirsty before your appointment, try to schedule it first thing in the morning. The reason dentists and oral surgeons require that you fast before your wisdom tooth extraction is that this reduces your risk of becoming nauseous or vomiting after the procedure. The last thing you want is to get a wisdom tooth infection, which can be very painful and often results in a longer recovery period.
- Arrange for a ride. Given that you will be heavily sedated for your wisdom teeth removal, you will be unfit to drive when you wake up. Often, patients will arrange for a close friend, significant other, or family member to drive them to and from their wisdom teeth procedure so they can be safely transported home afterward. It is also recommended that your designated driver stick around during the procedure so the oral surgeon can give them the wisdom tooth aftercare instructions and other materials, as well as let them know if any complications come up. The designated driver will also need to be able to take the patient to the pharmacy to pick up their pain medication before the anesthetic completely wears off.
- Take time off work. A common misconception about wisdom teeth removals is that there isn’t much of a recovery period. In reality, your mouth needs lots of downtime to heal after a tooth extraction. So, in the weeks leading up to your wisdom tooth surgery, try to get as many time-sensitive things taken care of as possible, such as big projects at work and important appointments. And, most importantly, take time off work. The typical wisdom tooth recovery time lasts anywhere from four days to a week, depending on how much rest you get, as well as any complications you encounter, like wisdom tooth dry sockets. Stress can prolong your wisdom tooth recovery, so be sure to plan your days off during a low-stress time, like in the summertime if you’re a student, or toward the end of the week if you work full-time.
Aside from the technicalities of preparing for your wisdom tooth extraction, you may also find yourself mentally preparing if you are nervous about the procedure. Some relaxation techniques include:
- Take deep breaths. Breathing deeply helps your body to adjust from the “fight or flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system to the “rest and digest” state of the parasympathetic nervous system. If you have anxiety about your wisdom teeth removal, take a few minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You’ll find that your heart will stop pounding, your body temperature will drop back down to normal, your mind will ease, and you will be in a far calmer state.
- Distract yourself. Though it seems like common sense, one of the best relaxation techniques is to shift your focus away from the thing you are nervous about. If you have found yourself repeating the worst scenarios over and over in your head, try to distract yourself by doing something you enjoy. You won’t be able to do any strenuous activity for a week or so after your surgery, so this is a great time to hit the gym, go on a hike, or get your friends together for a game of ultimate frisbee.
- Talk to your dentist. At the end of the day, the best way to calm your nerves before going in for your wisdom teeth removal is to bring up any concerns you have with your dentist. The more you know about your wisdom tooth extraction, the better you’ll be able to prepare, which will result in fewer complications (if any). So, feel free to ask any specific questions you have about the procedure, as well as what you can do to ensure that it goes smoothly. You’ll be surprised at how comforting it is to know exactly what is going to happen, rather than letting your mind wander to the worst case scenario.
Schedule Your Wisdom Teeth Removal In Orléans
We hope that this post has given you a better idea of how you can prepare for your wisdom teeth removal, and that you will continue to part two of this blog series for some wisdom teeth removal aftercare tips. If it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed, contact our dental clinic to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kotima Koala, or book an appointment with us online.