When you need your wisdom teeth removed, oral surgery is the safest, most effective approach—especially if crowding and infection have become issues. Surgery may sound scary, but being prepared will help you feel more confident. The team at Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska in Anchorage helps patients understand what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Below, they offer descriptions of each phase, so you are ready for your wisdom teeth removal.
Preparing for Oral Surgery
Before the procedure, your surgeon will determine the number of teeth that need to be removed and if any are impacted. These details often dictate the approach your team must take. Some patients only need a local anesthetic, while others may require a general anesthetic to put them to sleep for the duration of the oral surgery. If your surgeon prescribes general anesthesia, you will be required to stop eating and drinking up to eight hours before the procedure.
During the Extraction
After you are numb or asleep, your oral surgeon will perform the extraction. The length of the procedure depends on the number of teeth being removed and how impacted they are. Once the extraction is complete, the surgeon will stitch the area to prevent infection and help the gum tissue heal.
After the Procedure
Recovery time at the office will vary depending on whether you received local or general anesthesia. Once your surgeon allows you to go home, it is important to rest. Avoid laying flat on your back to minimize bleeding. Instead, prop yourself up on pillows and relax for several hours. Some bleeding after oral surgery is normal, so pack the affected areas with gauze pads and change them when necessary.
You can manage pain by using ice packs or moist heat for the first 24 hours. Your surgeon may also recommend over-the-counter pain medication or prescribe a stronger dosage. Care for yourself at home by adhering to a liquid diet for the first day, especially until bleeding subsides.
Choose foods that require minimal chewing like pudding, soup, and gelatin. As you heal, you can reintroduce solid foods. Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours, and exercise for the first few days. Rinse and brush the area gently to prevent infection.
Preparing for wisdom teeth removal may sound daunting, but knowing what to expect makes the experience less stressful. When your dentist recommends oral surgery to treat a serious condition, call Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska at (907) 561-1430 to receive high-quality care. To learn more about their team’s background and expertise, visit their website.