What to expect before, during and after wisdom tooth removal

So, your wisdom teeth need to be taken out. Have no fear: in this post, we’ll tell you exactly what you can expect before, during and after a wisdom tooth extraction.

Before surgery

A few days or weeks before the surgery, you’ll meet with your surgeon to discuss the process. During this meeting, you should take the time to discuss:

  • Any health problems you have
  • Any medications you take
  • What type of anaesthesia you’ll receive (a local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic)
  • Any questions or doubts you might have

The day of the surgery

On the day of the surgery, you’ll probably be feeling anxious. However, you can take comfort in the fact that wisdom teeth surgery typically takes less than 45 minutes to complete.

You’ll also be glad to know that you won’t feel any pain, thanks to the anaesthesia. The anaesthesia you’ll receive will be one of the following:

  • Local anaesthesia. With this type of anaesthesia, only your mouth and gums will be numb, and you’ll still be awake during surgery
  • IV sedation. Here, the surgeon will give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you sleepy and relaxed. Local anaesthesia is also used.
  • General anaesthesia. This type of anaesthesia is where you sleep during the entire surgery.

The surgery itself is typically straightforward. If the wisdom teeth are impacted, then the surgeon will need to cut through your gums to get to the tooth. The surgeon will stitch the wound shut afterwards. The surgeon might also need to put gauze in your mouth to soak up any blood.

Immediately after the surgery

After the surgery, you’ll be able to go home and rest. Some people even go back to work.

If you had a general anaesthetic though, then you should find a friend to drive you home, because driving under the effects of general anaesthetic can be dangerous.

The days after the surgery

You’ll experience swelling and discomfort during the first three days or so after surgery. Some people also experience pain. However, don’t worry too much because your surgeon will prescribe you with painkillers.

Here are a few tips to ensure you have a smooth recovery:

  • Use an ice pack against your cheeks to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Stick to eating soft foods such as soup, pasta and rice. Avoid hard foods and sticky foods.
  • Don’t be tempted to drink through a straw. The act of sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clots that help your mouth to heal.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t brush your teeth on the same day after the surgery; wait until the day after.
  • Be careful when brushing your teeth. Be especially careful not to dislodge any blood clots.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to know more about wisdom tooth extraction and what to expect from the procedure, simply bring it up at your next dental appointment with us. One of our friendly dentists will be more than happy to answer all of your questions!


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