Wisdom tooth extractions are probably the most dreaded of all dental procedures. The fear is understandable, as the extraction is a surgical process after all. With better knowledge of what will take place during the extraction and how to recover speedily subsequently, you will be better prepared going for your wisdom tooth extraction.
Wisdom teeth often requires a minor surgery to be removed because of its direction of growth. Unlike regular teeth that grows upright, wisdom teeth can be entirely lying horizontal in your gums. Before the start of the procedure, the dentist will administer local anaesthetic to your gums and make sure that you no longer feel any sensation in the area. This should let you rest assured, as the procedure will be a pain-free one.
Depending on how deep the tooth is embedded in the gums, the dentist may make an incision in the gums to remove the tooth. Sometimes, the tooth is cut into smaller pieces to make the extraction easier. If the tooth is not cut into smaller pieces beforehand, the entire tooth may break when it is extracted from its place. Once that’s done, the dentist stitches up your gum, usually with soluble stitches that doesn’t require removal, and you can be on your way home to start your recovery.
So what can you do and not do?
- DO bite on the gauze for at least half an hour to speed up the blood clotting. After 30 minutes, check on the gauze and change it to a new one. Repeat until the bleeding stops; it may take up to 6 pieces of gauze before the amount of bleeding is reduced noticeably.
- DO get plenty of rest for the next few days. Dentists usually give you a 3-day sick leave so that you can rest at home.
- DO take your prescribed medicines, especially the antibiotics. Although you may have thought of skipping the painkillers if the pain is manageable, that isn’t recommended as the painkillers do also assist in reducing the swelling.
- DON’T gargle. There should be minimal movement in the mouth so that the bleeding has a chance to stop.
- DON’T exercise or perform physically strenuous activities. Blood circulation improves when you do this, which will not help the blood to clot.
- This is rather needless to say, but DON’T eat on the side where the tooth was extracted. Not at least for a week and even then, it should be only soft food like mashed potatoes, congee and smoothies on that side. Ice-cream and other cold food are recommended post-surgery; these help the blood to clot.
- DON’T smoke. The chemicals in cigarettes can affect clotting. Smoking dries up your mouth too, which could lead to a dry socket where your tooth formerly was.
A wisdom tooth extraction, once advised by your dentist to be done, should be rescheduled and not be procrastinated upon. Waiting longer only causes damage to the neighbouring tooth and then you may end up having to remove not one but two teeth! The dentists at Dental Above are among the most experienced when it comes to wisdom tooth extraction, so do drop by for a consultation or second opinion if you are in the Balwyn North area.