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Wisdom teeth removal no longer has to be a daunting experience. With modern extraction procedures, along with sedation, a wisdom tooth can be pulled just like a normal erupted tooth, if they have emerged through the gums. However, if the tooth is still underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone, a small incision will be made in the gum tissue to uncover the tooth. Then, a part of the bone covering the tooth will be removed, often extracting small pieces at a time to reduce the amount of bone that needs to be taken out.

Is it painful?

A wisdom tooth removal procedure is generally painless. You will be receiving a local anesthetic numbing the area just like any other tooth removal. You can also receive sedation to relieve anxiety administered by nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, or IV injection. To remove all four wisdom teeth, you will likely receive a general anesthetic allowing you to sleep comfortably through the procedure, feeling no pain. If you only receive nitrous oxide, you will be able to drive yourself home. With other sedation methods, you will need a companion to drive you home after the procedure.

After Extraction:

Bleeding: While the injection site is clotting after the extraction you may have bleeding. Place pressure over the extraction site using clean, moist gauze and biting down firmly. Avoid rinsing or spitting during the first 24 hours after surgery to keep from removing the clot.

Eating: Drink a liquid diet for the first 24 hours (no straws) until the numbness has worn off. After 24 hours, you can move on to a soft food diet for a few days, such as yogurt, pudding, pasta, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and soups.

Brushing: For the first 24 hours after the surgery, no tooth brushing, rinsing or spitting, to avoid disturbing the blood clot. After 24 hours you can brush your teeth except the ones near the extraction site, for about three days.

Rinsing: 24 hours after the surgery you may rinse your mouth with warm salt water after meals and before sleep. Don’t use over-the-counter commercial mouth rinses, which can irritate the socket.

Facial Swelling: Use an ice pack on the face to relieve the swelling. Place the pack 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours after the surgery. After 24 hours, switch to heat, placing a damp, warm towel–20 minutes on, 20 minutes off–as is necessary.

Pain: To relieve minor pain, acetaminophen or ibuprofen will be helpful. You may also be prescribed stronger pain medication if needed. If you have an infection around the tooth you will receive a prescription for antibiotics. If you do receive antibiotics, remember to take the entire amount over the course of recovery to make sure the infection disappears.

Recovery: Stitches will need to be removed after a week, unless they are dissolvable. The recovery period can take a few days and typically, if there is swelling and discomfort, it can be a week or more.

If you have any questions or need to be seen, please contact our DM Family Dentistry dental team at 847-740-8827 today!