Everyone has heard horror stories from people getting their wisdom teeth removed. While the awful things that happen are typically few and far between, those stories are what come to mind the moment the dentist tells you that it’s time to get your wisdom teeth removed. If that fateful day is looming near for you, here is a simple walkthrough of what to expect when you get your teeth out.
How To Prepare
- Plan on taking time off of work or school after you have your wisdom teeth out. You’ll need time to recover, and rest helps to speed up the recovery process. Also, keep in mind that getting your teeth pulled can be a painful experience and you’ll probably need some heavy pain killers to get you through the first part of the recovery process. If you have kids at home you might want to set up childcare services so you have time for the rest you need.
- Don’t drive yourself home. Even if you choose to stay awake for your extraction you will still be a little loopy, either from pain or drugs. Plan on having a friend or neighbor give you a ride home.
What To Expect
According to WebMD, there are three options of anesthesia for the actual surgery.
- Local: Your doctor will numb your mouth and then you’ll be given some sort of gas (nitrous oxide or laughing gas) to help you relax during the surgery.
- IV sedation:The surgeon will numb your mouth and you’ll be given drugs through an IV to make you drowsy. There’s a good chance you’ll sleep through the entire extraction.
- General: You’ll be given drugs to put you to sleep and you’ll be out for the entire procedure. Typically you wake up about an hour or so later.
- Most likely you’ll have quite a bit of swelling so you’ll want to use an icepack to help keep that to a minimum.
- It typically takes around 3 days for swelling to go down and then it will take a few more weeks for you to completely heal.
- Take the medicine your doctor prescribes to help with pain and swelling management.
- If you’re a little loopy on your pain meds you might want a friend or family member to hold onto your phone for safekeeping so you don’t do anything you’ll regret later.
What To Eat
A common question is, “What can I eat after surgery?” Washington Periodontics provides a great list of foods to eat after a tooth extraction
- Baby food
- Baked beans
- Beans (mashed if necessary)
- Broccoli – steamed, soft
- Broth (not too hot)
- Butternut Squash – cooked, soft
- Eggs (scrambled, soft boiled, egg salad)
- Fish (soft white fish, sole, trout)
- Fruit smoothies/protein shakes
- Hearty soups (cream of asparagus, lentil, minestrone, split pea)
- Ice cream, popsicles, and milkshakes
- Mashed potatoes
- Oatmeal/cream of wheat
- Pasta (no sauce due to being acidic)
- Soft fruits (banana, papaya, berries, canned peaches or pears)
- Yogurt (soft or frozen)
There really isn’t much to be afraid of. Your teeth will be out before you know it and you’ll be back to your normal everyday activities in no time. Enjoy the time you have to sit on the couch healing and eating ice cream guilt free.