What To Expect When You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Pulled
Many people don’t like the experience of visiting a dentist office. Imagine how it must feel for those people that have to go and get their wisdom teeth removed. Just the mere thought of having to go through that will make anybody squirm. Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars that people get when they hit their late teens and early 20s. While having your wisdom teeth can be a healthy asset to you, most of the time, the teeth can be misaligned, which will require them to be taken out.
Getting your wisdom teeth pulled can be an excruciating experience, but knowing what to expect ahead can help lessen the anxiety around this routine process when you visit the dentist office. Here’s what to expect when you go get your wisdom teeth removed.
Signs That Your Wisdom Teeth Have Been Impacted
Our bodies have a funny way of letting us know that it’s in pain and something needs to be done about it, and your teeth are no exception.
You will feel your wisdom teeth come in when you experience mouth pain. You may not realize it at first, but if that pain is coming from the back of your mouth, surprise, it’s your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can be trapped in your jawbone or gums, which is what spurs the pain within your mouth. Some may ask why wisdom teeth are so painful? It’s because, according to WebMD, your mouth is not big enough to handle an extra set of molars.
Of course, there are other reasons why your wisdom teeth need to be removed, one of which is cavities and gum disease. Because the wisdom teeth are far in the back of your mouth, these sets of molars are not easily reached by your toothbrush, which means that they can’t be regularly cleaned, and are easily susceptible to cavities or gum disease.
Consult With Your Dentist
Now that you’ve identified that your wisdom teeth have become a problem and need to be replaced, it’s time to go to the dentist office and see what needs to be done.
Consulting with your dentist is highly recommended as they can determine the severity of your pain. Normally, every family has a family dental service that they regularly see at the dentist office to get their routine dental work done, so more-than-likely, if your wisdom teeth do need to be pulled, it will be your dentist that will get the ball rolling. Even if you don’t have a regular dentist, numerous family dentistry offices will accept clients from all works of life.
Check Your Dental Insurance
Now that you’ve consulted with your dentist, it’s now time to check your insurance to see if the extraction of your wisdom teeth is covered under your plan.
In general, people should check their insurance to see what’s covered, because not every dental treatment will be covered under every plan. Some are just basic dental plans that cover routine check-ups, but won’t cover surgery to your teeth. Most Americans have a dental insurance policy that goes to cover such cases as wisdom teeth extraction, but some plans don’t, and some dentists won’t proceed with removing your wisdom teeth if you’re not insured. That is how the dentist makes their salary and the dentist office stays in business, after all.
You must check your insurance to see if the pulling of your wisdom teeth is covered underneath your plan. Otherwise, you will have to deal with not only pain within your teeth, but the pain in your wallet as well, which may hurt just as bad as your wisdom teeth. Going to the dentist office isn’t cheap.
Find The Right Oral Surgeon
OK, so you know that your wisdom teeth are hurting you, and you’ve had a chat with your dentist at the dentist office who has confirmed it.
You’ve checked your insurance and, lucky you, the extraction of your wisdom teeth is covered! You’re finally on the road to a healthier future, but you’re not done yet. Now you need to find the right oral surgeon who will perform the task of taking out your wisdom teeth. This is, after all, a surgery, which means that an oral surgeon is the one to do the job. Oral surgeons are doctors that perform surgery on the teeth. Just like any other surgeon, finding the right one and the best one will be paramount.
As explained earlier, consulting with your dentist office should be step number one. Your dentist will have a list of surgeons that he will recommend to you. For a procedure such as this one, your dentist will recommend an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, a doctor who treats disease and injuries in and around your mouth.
Once your dentist has given your his top recommendations, you should ask questions surrounding the surgeon. It is your mouth, and you don’t want to go to a surgeon that may have a spotty track record. Ask your dentist why he is recommending that surgeon? What are the specialties that he performs? What is his background? The third question is very important because you don’t want to wind up with a surgeon with an iffy background.
Finally, ask your dentist if he would be comfortable going to the surgeon he recommended. If they say yes with no hesitation, then that should be the oral surgeon you should see.
Another great tool for finding the right oral surgeon is the internet. It’s amazing what you can find on the world wide web these days, and even more so, you can see how an oral surgeon is rated and what reviews they have for their dental care services. Sure, you trust your dentist, but you can never have too much information when it comes to picking your oral surgeon. Sites such as Google have excellent review systems that will allow you to see the rate of dental care services. As a bonus, you can read the reviews of that surgeon’s past patients, and while you may get the occasional one star, if the majority is positive reviews, that should make you feel more comfortable with visiting that surgeon.
Find Out If Your Oral Surgeon Is Right For You
It may feel as if we’ve covered this already, but trust us as this section has brand new information that you should know before visiting your oral surgeon.
The biggest question is if your oral surgeon is the one that you need to get your wisdom teeth pulled? Believe it or not, there are several types of oral surgeons that do different procedures. Remember the questions that we recommended you ask your dentist before seeing your oral surgeon? One of those was “what kind of specialties does that oral doctor perform?” Well, this is where that question matters because you don’t want to end up with a surgeon that doesn’t specialize in pulling wisdom teeth.
This is also where your exhaustive internet research should pay off. In the world of Google and Bing, it is easy to find an oral surgeon that specializes in wisdom teeth surgery, so in hindsight, it should be easy to find the right oral surgeon for the job. Just in case, though, ask your dentist that very simple question: “What do that oral surgeons specialize in?”
Get To Know Your Oral Surgeon
Surgeons, by and large, are friendly people, and they understand the power of forging relationships with their patients.
Remember, these surgeons are going to perform a pretty painful operation, so they want to make sure that you’re as comfortable as you can be before, during, and after the operation (more on that in a bit). Before you go under the knife, set up an introductory appointment with your potential surgeon. This is the “get to know each other” phase of the process, where the surgeon gets to know a little more about you, and you get to know a little more about the surgeon.
There are a few questions that you may specifically want to ask your potential surgeon, such as the experience they have in wisdom teeth extraction, or the success and failure stories that he may have. Yes, knowing some of your surgeon’s failed procedures is important as they can give context to them, which will put you more at ease.
One question that you should ask your surgeon is of the surgery is really necessary? While your dentist at the dentist office may give you one recommendation, an oral surgeon may recommend that surgery may not be needed and suggest that you use other alternative treatments such as natural medicine to treat your wisdom teeth ailments. However, most of the time, surgery will be needed.
If the surgeon recommends surgery, then that’s when the meat-and-potatoes begins, and by that, we mean knowing where the surgery will take place and when it will take place. You will normally have a little time between your introductory visit and the actual surgery to get yourself ready to go.
What To Do Before and During Surgery
Before your teeth go under the knife, it’s important to let your surgeon know what kind of health problems you may have.
This is the importance of the introductory appointment, as you should tell your surgeon not only if you have other health issues, but also if you take prescription drugs and so forth. This is important, as the surgeon doesn’t want to do anything that will jeopardize your health and well-being during the surgery.
On your end, ask questions about the procedure. Yes, some details may sound a bit scary, but the more you know, the less anxiety you will feel about the operation. Also, talk to your surgeon about sedation dentistry and how long you’ll have to be out of work (or school if you have a kid that’s getting their wisdom teeth pulled).
A typical wisdom tooth surgery lasts around 45 minutes, and during that time you won’t feel a thing as you will be sedated. Keep in mind that your surgeon may have to cut your gums or bones to reach your wisdom teeth (it’s in the back of your mouth), so you will probably have stitches, but not to worry as those will heal within a few days.
After that, your wisdom teeth are pulled and the operation is over!
Follow Your Surgeon’s Aftercare Instructions
Hooray! Your wisdom teeth should give you no more pain.
Before you can dive back into that big bowl of Fruits Loops again, however, it’s important to follow the surgeon’s aftercare instructions. First, it may be wise to not drive home, especially if you had general anesthesia. That’s why it’s important to bring a friend or family member with you to your surgery.
Second, use an ice pack on your face to help bring down the swelling, then use a moist heat pack for your sore jaw. Speaking of your jaw, make sure that you are gently open and close your mouth to work your jaw back into perfect working order. Remember when we said you may not want to dive back into that bowl of Fruit Loops? After surgery, the surgeon will recommend that you eat soft foods like pasta and rice, and to drink a lot of fluids (but not through a straw).
On the second day, you should brush your teeth again. Yes, it is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day, every day, but it’s highly not recommended right after the surgery. Also, don’t brush the blood clots. That is a pain that you don’t want to experience. Also, only take drugs that your surgeon will prescribe to help ease your pain. Finally, if your pain is not improving, get on the phone with your dentist office or surgeon to see what’s going on.
It is not fun to get your wisdom teeth pulled, but it’s needed so that you won’t have to experience pain in your mouth daily. Consult with your dentist at the dentist office, who will then recommend an oral surgeon for you. However, do your own research and get to know the surgeon so that you will be more at ease. After the surgery, follow the doctor’s orders so that your recovery will be as painless as possible.
Then, you can enjoy that huge bowl of Fruit Loops, pain-free.