This four-part article series provides an in-depth review of wisdom teeth, what they are and what the procedure and recovery process involves in their removal.
Welcome to the third installment of this four-part article series on wisdom teeth. In Part 2, we spoke to some experienced dentists in Silver Spring MD, who explained the various problems and complications that can be caused by the emergence of misaligned and impacted wisdom teeth. Because these problems are not uncommon, many people end up having their wisdom teeth extracted, either as a solution or a preventative measure. In this article, we shall take an in-depth look at the procedure involved in the extraction of wisdom teeth, as well as what Silver Spring patients can expect from their post-operative recovery experience.
The Procedure Involved in Wisdom Teeth Removal
It’s totally normal for people to be terrified at the prospect of oral surgery, but according to dentists in Silver Spring MD, the removal of wisdom teeth is typically quick and completely painless. How is this possible? In cases involving a straightforward tooth extraction, the gums immediately surrounding the tooth will be completely numbed and, if required, you will be gently sedated so that your experience isn’t traumatic at all.
Silver Spring dentists commonly make use of oral sedatives (such as Valium or Xanax), “laughing gas” or nitrous oxide, or IV sedation. In more complex cases of wisdom teeth removal, a general anesthesia may be administered, in which case you’ll wake up with the procedure already complete.
The Recovery Experience: The First 24 Hours
“Every patient has a different recovery experience,” say dentists in Silver Spring MD. “Additionally, the speed of recovery depends on a host of factors, including the nature of the extraction procedure required. Obviously, a straightforward treatment typically comes with a quicker and easier recovery period, while wisdom teeth requiring surgery may see a patient spending a few days out of action.”
In either case, here’s the typical prognosis for recovery in the first 24 hours:
Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted and you have recovered from the effects of anesthetic, you will be allowed to return home to rest. Although the sites of your wisdom teeth will be sutured, they may continue to bleed lightly for a few hours. “Placing some clean gauze over the tooth socket and applying gentle pressure to it by biting down should control and stop the bleeding,” advises a Silver Spring dentist. “You can also use a moist tea bag because the tannic acid effectively encourages the formation of blood clots, which hastens the cessation of bleeding.”
What should I do if I continue to bleed heavily?
Call your dentist immediately. Also, to allow the sites of your wisdom teeth to heal, try not to spit or rinse in the first 24 post-operative hours. “Patients should avoid drinking out of a straw or any other activity that requires sucking action, such as smoking, as this may disrupt clotting and cause bleeding again, or worse, a condition known as dry socket.”
It’s not uncommon for the face to become quite swollen around the site of tooth extraction. Pressing an ice pack against the cheek helps to reduce swelling. “Do this for 10 minutes and then take a 20 minute break,” advise dentists in Silver Spring MD.“Repeat this process for the first 24 hours as much as possible.”
You will be sent home with analgesics, such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), which should help to control any post-operative pain and discomfort you may experience. If you have undergone more invasive surgery to have wisdom teeth removed, your Silver Spring dentist may prescribe you a stronger course of pain medications. If you were previously given antibiotics to address infection of the gums surrounding an emerging wisdom tooth, you should complete the course.
Stay Tuned for Part 4
To read more about the recovery experience Silver Spring patients can expect, stay tuned for the final installment of this four-part article series.