Having a consultation with your dentist can answer any questions you have regarding your wisdom teeth. It is likely that an OPG x-ray is required in order to assess how close your wisdom teeth are to your nerves. In some circumstances, you may need to be referred to see an oral surgeon.
You can choose whether you want to have your wisdom teeth extracted under local anaesthesia in the dental chair or under general anaesthesia at the hospital.
DOES IT HURT?
- If you have chosen to go under general anaesthetic, then you will be asleep during the procedure and will not feel any pain. Your dentist will explain the post-op instructions after the procedure has completed and you are awake.
- If you have chosen to have the procedure done under local anesthesia, you will not feel any sharp pain, just pressure (pushing and pulling) as the tooth is removed. At any point in time, if you do feel sharp pain, inform your dentist immediately. Some patients require more anaesthesia than others, especially if the wisdom teeth are very infected.
- If you have chosen to go under general anaesthetic, your dentist will explain specific instructions on how to take care of yourself over the next week.
- If you have chosen to have the procedure done under local anaesthesia, the dentist will likely place sutures to stop any bleeding, and get you to bite down on gauze for up to 30 minutes. If bleeding continues after you have removed the gauze, simply exchange it with the extra pieces provided.
- Most patients usually take a few days off after wisdom teeth extractions, but this varies greatly person to person.
- Avoid food that has a high chance of getting stuck inside the extraction socket (i.e. popcorn).
- Try to have a soft diet for the next few days.
- Take the recommended painkillers.
- After the 1st day, start rinsing your mouth out with warm water mixed with salt, about 3 times a day. Try not to rinse too vigorously at first, as this may cause you to start bleeding again.
- You may place an ice pack over the extraction site (over the skin) to reduce any swelling you may have.
Everyone is different, and hence everyone will heal differently. Some patients take 2 days to heal, whereas some may take 2 weeks. If you feel something is not right, or pain has started to increase rather than subside, contact your dentist ASAP. You may have an infection.
Your dentist will contact you the day following the extraction, and may make an appointment to review the site 1 week later.
Sometimes, small pieces of tooth or bone may have broken off during the procedure. Don’t panic, as this is quite common. Most of the time, they will wash away with your rinsing. If they start to become bothersome, contact your dentist as they may have to be removed carefully.