Wisdom Teeth Extraction and Aftercare

Many people are extremely nervous about having their wisdom teeth removed. If you have to undergo surgery, be sure to discuss your fears with your oral surgeon. He or she will explain exactly what is involved and help you feel more at ease.

Often the wisdom teeth are removed under local anesthesia, which means you are awake, but the area around the wisdom teeth is numbed. Pre-surgery drugs can also be administered to make sure you are completely relaxed.

If the wisdom teeth have only partially erupted, small incisions are made in the gum above the tooth so that the tooth can be lifted out. The incisions are sutured to close up the wound. Once a blood clot forms in the socket, healing begins. After a few days, new soft tissue begins to fill the socket. The oral surgeon will give you instructions to help speed up the healing process and prevent infection.

You can expect your mouth to feel sore and tender but, if you experience excessive bleeding, swelling or pain, you should contact the surgeon. As the anesthetic wears off, the first eight hours after the extraction are normally the worst. To ease pain and reduce bleeding, bite on a damp, cool cloth.

Soft foods such as Jell-O, custard and yogurt will be your diet for a few days. You can gradually return to other foods once your mouth has healed. If you are prescribed antibiotics and/or an anti-inflammatory, it is important to finish the course as prescribed.