On a yearly basis, almost 5 million Americans have their wisdom teeth removed, so the procedure isn’t uncommon.
Whether you have pain, impaction, or other dental issues, the extraction of wisdom teeth can be a necessary step toward maintaining your oral health. But the recovery process can sometimes be challenging. It requires proper care and attention.
Here at K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group, our experienced providers walk you through the wisdom teeth removal process and provide valuable tips for optimal recovery.
Preparing for the procedure
Before your wisdom tooth removal, our team first consults with you. We evaluate your specific case and provide guidance on whether extraction is necessary. We also explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have.
Follow any preoperative instructions we give you, such as fasting or avoiding certain medications.
What to expect during the procedure
We typically perform wisdom tooth extraction under local or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the extraction and your personal preference.
During your procedure, we remove the impacted or problematic wisdom teeth. The duration of the surgery can vary, ranging from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the number of teeth we’re removing and the complexity of your situation.
Immediate postoperative care
After the extraction, we provide you with specific instructions for postoperative care that you need to follow to ensure a smooth recovery. You can expect some swelling, discomfort, and minor bleeding in the first few days.
Applying an ice pack to the outside of your cheek can help reduce swelling while biting on a piece of gauze can control bleeding. Rest, avoid strenuous activities, and limit your diet to soft foods during the initial recovery phase.
You can expect to experience some discomfort and pain after your wisdom tooth removal, which is normal. We may prescribe pain medications to help manage your postoperative pain. Take these medications as directed, and don’t exceed the recommended dosage.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can also provide relief. If you experience severe or prolonged pain, contact us immediately.
After your recovery, you need to maintain proper oral hygiene. But be very gentle while brushing and flossing around the extraction site to avoid dislodging the blood clot and causing a dry socket.
Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water after 24 hours to keep the area clean. Avoid using mouthwash, sucking through a straw, or smoking. These actions can hinder your healing process.
Diet and nutrition
Following wisdom tooth removal, stick to eating a soft-food diet for a few days, which might include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
These types of smooth-textured foods will be gentle on your extraction site. Eating hard, crunchy, or spicy foods can irritate the area.
As your recovery progresses, you can gradually introduce solid foods back into your diet.
After your surgery, we schedule follow-up appointments so we can monitor your healing progress and remove any stitches if necessary. To ensure your recovery stays on track, it’s important that you come in for these scheduled visits.
Signs of complications
While complications after wisdom tooth removal are rare, you should still watch for potential signs of infection or other issues, such as:
- Severe pain
- Excessive bleeding
- Prolonged swelling
If you have any other concerning symptoms, contact our team immediately.
Wisdom tooth removal doesn’t have to be a concerning or uncomfortable experience. With the proper preparation and aftercare, your recovery can be smooth and successful.
If you have questions about wisdom tooth removal and the recovery process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team in Washington, DC. Call 202-315-0856 or send us a message today.