Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Removal: Tips and Advice

Have you been experiencing severe pain in the back of your mouth? Maybe a little difficulty opening your mouth, chewing or red and swollen gums? These all may be symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth. If you’ve been to the dentist already, and have been recommended for wisdom tooth removal, no need to panic. It is a common dental procedure for problematic wisdom teeth to avoid potential future complications and damage to existing teeth. So if you are interested in learning why wisdom teeth may need to be removed and what is involved in the preparation of wisdom teeth removal, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll provide you with valuable insights, helpful tips, aftercare instructions, and essential information regarding wisdom teeth extraction to help you face the world with a healthy, pain-free smile. Let’s get started!

Wisdom Teeth Removal: When is it Necessary?

Wisdom teeth are your third molars located at the back of your mouth and the last set of teeth to erupt. They usually come out between 18 to 25 years after all the permanent teeth have grown. Due to the lack of space, wisdom teeth can grow out at the wrong angle or get stuck under the gum or jawbone, becoming impacted. This can lead to an increased risk of infection and tooth decay, severe pain, and crowding. Removal is generally recommended for impacted wisdom teeth to avoid these problems. Since wisdom teeth do not offer any additional function or benefit, removing them solves the issue from the root, negating the potential complications which can arise from them.

However, not everyone may need a wisdom tooth extraction. Some people are born without wisdom teeth or never have them erupt, while for others, wisdom teeth grow straight without causing problems. Dentists can identify signs of impacted wisdom teeth or those growing without complications during regular dental checkups to provide early treatment and guidance. Detecting an impacted wisdom tooth early makes the extraction process easier, helping to prevent future pain and oral issues.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure

A wisdom tooth extraction begins with an initial consultation which involves an oral examination with X-rays to identify the tooth location, level of impaction and signs of infection, if any. If your wisdom tooth is infected, it will have to be treated first to remove the infection. Once the infection is under control and the symptoms have improved, the dentist can then proceed with the wisdom tooth removal. Treating the infection before extraction helps minimise the risk of it spreading during the procedure, promoting a smoother recovery process.

The procedure begins by numbing the extraction site to ensure your comfort. Your dentist will make a small incision to access the impacted wisdom tooth and remove it. The area will then be cleaned, and the wound stitched. The procedure time varies for each patient and depends on how deep the wisdom tooth is or the bone around it. For some patients, the wisdom tooth is partially erupted and easy to access and extract. While for others it may be buried deep inside the gum tissue with bone blocking it. Whatever the case, your dentist will discuss your case with you beforehand, helping you understand with the help of x-rays and information about the procedure.

At Superior Smiles, we perform thorough diagnostic investigations during your regular checkups so that we can work with you to manage wisdom teeth development and removal. We can also assist with emergencies in wisdom teeth extraction if you are undergoing restorative or orthodontic treatment.

Tips for Wisdom Teeth Removal 

It generally takes about two weeks to recover from wisdom tooth extraction. The pain and swelling should begin to subside from the fourth or fifth day if you follow your dentist’s instructions and the proper aftercare routine. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your wisdom tooth removal and have a speedy recovery afterwards:

Before Wisdom Teeth Removal:

Consult your dentist to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the procedure. They can provide personalised guidance based on your specific situation. Ask questions, and address your concerns no matter how minor. The more well-informed you are, the easier it is to deal with any type of surgery.

Some tips to help you prepare for wisdom teeth removal include:

Sedation Options

Ask about sedation options, especially if you have dental anxiety. This will help you choose the option you are most comfortable with and alleviate the fear of the procedure. If you’re taking anaesthesia during the procedure, avoid eating and drinking before to avoid feeling nauseous. Your dentist can help explain the specifics of anaesthesia, what you need to do before and if you’ll need to arrange a ride home because of the aftereffects.

At our Fremantle Clinic, we offer in-house IV sedation to ensure your comfort and peace of mind during any dental procedure. Our friendly dentists can provide any information you need, addressing your concerns and answering any questions you may have.

Avoid Smoking

If you smoke, it’s better to limit consumption or refrain from smoking altogether. Smoking hinders the healing process and reduces blood flow to the gums. This will help you recover faster after the surgery.

Stock Up on Food & Medications

Another useful tip is to buy your prescription medications and soft foods beforehand to avoid making trips to the store after the surgery. This way you can focus on your recovery without having to worry about the things you need.

After Wisdom Teeth Removal

The recovery time after wisdom teeth removal varies for each patient, depending on the complexity of the procedure. If a deeper incision had to be made to access the wisdom tooth, the wound may take longer to heal. Age also factors in your recovery, as younger patients may heal faster than someone over 40 or 50. But the pain and swelling after the procedure should begin to recede after the first week. If it persists or there’s bleeding, you should contact your dentist immediately.

Some tips to help you recover after the wisdom tooth removal procedure include:

Oral Hygiene

Avoid brushing near the extraction site on the first day or at least 24 hours. When you do start brushing the area, be gentle to avoid dislodging the blood clot, as this can lead to a dry socket. The blood clot acts as a protective barrier, covering the empty socket and promoting the formation of new tissue and bone, helping prevent infection and reduce pain. Dislodging exposes the underlying bone and nerves to air, food particles, and bacteria, leading to increased pain and delayed healing. Don’t use a straw to drink because the sucking motion can also dislodge the blood clot. Keep the area clean by gently rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater, or as recommended by your dentist.

Diet & Nutrition

Stick to soft and easy-to-chew foods in the first few days following the extraction. Begin with a liquid diet and transition to a semi-liquid and soft food diet in the next few days. Avoid hot, hard, crunchy, or spicy foods that could irritate the extraction site. Eat colder foods like ice cream, chilled yoghurt, and popsicles because the cold temperature helps with the pain and swelling.

Pain Management

Take the prescribed painkillers at the recommended time to help with the pain. Waiting for the pain to strike only makes it worse. Use ice packs or cold compress on your jaw to relieve swelling and pain. Always consult your dentist or health care practitioner before taking any pain medication that has not been prescribed. Refrain from strenuous physical activity for at least 2 weeks, resting and taking care of yourself until you are fully healed.

Follow Up & Monitoring

Monitor your symptoms, checking for persistent bleeding, swelling, or pain. Following up with your dentist is vital to ensure that the wound is healing correctly and that there isn’t any potential problem.

Gentle Dental Care for Wisdom Teeth: From Preparation to Recovery and a Healthy Smile

At Superior Smiles, we can help treat your wisdom teeth with a gentle and caring touch, offering support and guidance throughout your journey. We believe transparency is key to forming lasting relationships with our clients. This is why you can expect us to be completely honest with you, putting your dental health first, with treatments tailored to your oral needs and lifestyle. Talk to our Fremantle dentists about wisdom teeth removal today.

Superior Smiles | Fremantle Dentist Perth