Wisdom tooth extraction is a dental procedure that often involves surgery to remove one or more of your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are molars located at the very back of your mouth, both bottom and top, that do not usually break through the gums until you are in your late teens to early twenties.
There are a few reasons why people have their wisdom teeth removed. If you have impacted wisdom teeth (which means they won’t fully come through the gums), they can result in pain or infection. The other reason to have your wisdom teeth removed is for prevention against any potential future problems such as crowding, cavities, and gum disease. Most patients have far more health benefits to having their wisdom teeth removed than risks for removal. However, this decision is made on a patient by patient basis. Our team of dentists will discuss all the benefits and risks associated with your specific case. We will also provide you with as much information as we can to ensure your aftercare is done properly.
The area where the teeth are to be removed will be frozen before the procedure to keep you comfortable and worry-free. We also offer several levels of sedation if you feel you need it. Be sure to tell us about any medical conditions you may have or any medications you may be on. Make sure you have someone to drive you to an from your appointment and have soups, juices, and treats like popsicles ready at home.
As you heal after the procedure, please take the following into consideration.
- Activity. After your surgery, plan to rest for the remainder of the day and resume normal activities the following day. Avoid strenuous activity for at least 7 days to reduce the chance of dislodging the blood clot from the socket.
- Beverages. Drink lots of water after the surgery. Don’t drink alcoholic, caffeinated, carbonated or hot beverages in the first 24 hours. Don’t drink with a straw for at least a week, as the sucking action can dislodge the blood clot, causing dry socket.
- Food. Eat only soft foods, such as yogurt, applesauce, soup, and cold items for the first 24 hours. Start eating semi-soft foods when you can tolerate them. Avoid hard, chewy, hot or spicy foods that might get stuck in the socket or irritate the tender areas.
- Pain management. You should be able to manage pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). If that is not sufficient we can provide you with a prescription pain medication for the first couple of days if pain persists. Holding a cold pack against your jaw also may relieve pain.
- Bleeding. Some oozing of blood may occur for the first day after wisdom tooth removal. Try to avoid excessive spitting so as not to dislodge the blood clot from the socket. Replace the gauze as directed by our dentist’s recommendations.
- Swelling and bruising. Swelling and bruising of your cheeks usually improve in two or three days. Use an ice pack as directed by our dentist.
- Cleaning your mouth. Don’t brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, spit or use a mouthwash during the first 24 hours after the surgery. After that time, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water every two hours and after meals for a week after your surgery. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water and rinse gently. After the first 24 hours, you may resume brushing your teeth. Be particularly gentle near the surgical wound to avoid brushing any stitches.
- Tobacco use. Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after surgery — and wait longer than that if possible. If you chew tobacco, don’t use it for at least a week. Using tobacco products after oral surgery can delay healing and increase the risk of complications.
- Stitches. If stitches are placed please be gentle when brushing the teeth around them. If dissolving stitches are used, they will be gone in approximately 7-10 days. Let them fall out on their own, do not pull on them as they loosen as you risk tearing the gums.
We most likely won’t have to see you after your wisdom teeth removal unless you experience any symptoms such as fever, severe pain, puss oozing from the socket, or swelling that worsens after three days. If you are unsure at any time during your healing process please call the office and we will see you right away.
Call our Grande Prairie dental office now at (587) 803‑4406 or make an appointment and we will find our earliest convenient time to book you in.