Has your dentist told you it’s time to have your wisdom teeth out? If so, you may be anxious about having this form of oral surgery as an adult. Will it hurt? And how long will it take to heal?
The good news is that wisdom tooth extraction is a routine procedure that most people find easier than they expected. Healing takes just a few days – and with careful planning, your discomfort will be kept to a minimum.
PLANNING AHEAD WITH YOUR ORAL SURGEON
Before surgery you will meet with Dr. Farole to learn more about the process. As part of the discussion, make sure you:
- Talk about any health problems you have.
- List any drugs you take on a regular basis.
- Ask any questions you have about the surgery.
- Discuss what type of anesthesia you’ll have. You can choose to stay awake (with local anesthesia for discomfort) or be completely asleep during your surgery.
- Plan time off from work or school for surgery and recovery.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING SURGERY
Most wisdom tooth surgery takes under an hour to complete. You will receive the type of anesthetic you discussed ahead of time with Dr. Farole. Your options include:
- LOCAL ANESTHESIA. Farole will numb your mouth with carefully placed injections of novocaine. You may also breathe nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to relax during surgery. You should feel alert again shortly afterward.
- IV SEDATION. In addition to numbing your mouth, Dr. Farole will also give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you drowsy. You may be awake during the procedure or fall into a light sleep.
- GENERAL ANESTHESIA. You will receive drugs through a vein or breathe gas through a mask. You’ll be asleep the whole time and may not wake up for an hour or so after surgery.
RECOVERING AFTER YOUR ORAL SURGERY
Everyone responds differently to anesthesia. If you had a local anesthetic and are feeling alert, you may be able to return to normal activities right away. If you had general anesthesia or still feel drowsy, you’ll need help getting home and settled. In either case, it’s best to have a friend or family member drive you home after your procedure.
Most people have little to no pain after having wisdom teeth out. You’ll likely have swelling and mild discomfort for 2 to 3 days. Your mouth will heal naturally over the next several weeks. By following your aftercare instructions carefully, you should be just fine.
Here are tips for the first few days following your oral surgery.
- Apply an ice pack to minimize swelling and skin color changes.
- Use moist heat for a sore jaw.
- Gently open and close your mouth to exercise your jaw.
- Eat soft foods like pasta, rice, or soup.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Brush your teeth starting the second day. Don’t brush near blood clots in the areas that are healing.
- Take the drugs your oral surgeon prescribes to ease pain or swelling.
- Call our office if you have a fever, or if your pain or swelling doesn’t improve.
- Don’t drink through a straw. Sucking may loosen blood clots that help your mouth heal.
- Don’t rinse your mouth with too much force. If you want to cleanse your mouth, rinse gently with saltwater.
- Don’t eat hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that may irritate tender areas.
- Don’t smoke – it can interfere with healing.
YOUR COMFORT AND HEALTH IS OUR TOP PRIORITY
When it’s time for wisdom tooth extraction or any other form of oral surgery, Dr. Anthony Farole will be happy to address your questions and concerns. Dr. Farole has worked with thousands of patients in the Bala Cynwyd and Greater Philadelphia area – and he will put together a treatment plan to assure that your procedure goes smoothly and comfortably. Give us a call today for a personalized consultation.