Wisdom teeth can cause discomfort if they become impacted or infected. If this happens to you, your dentist may recommend a wisdom tooth extraction to protect your other teeth and reduce discomfort.
A wisdom tooth removal involves a detailed pre-surgery consultation, one or more surgeries depending on the number of teeth recommended for removal, and a recovery period.
Many people put off seeing the dentist because they are concerned about wisdom tooth extraction recovery time. Although every person reacts differently to surgery, wisdom tooth removal is often a relatively simple procedure with around a two-week recovery period.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are located at the back of your mouth. Due to their location, they can be hard to clean, making them more prone to plaque, decay and infections. Partially impacted wisdom teeth have fissures that trap bacteria and food particles which can cause cavities.
Although some wisdom teeth erupt fully and cause no problems, often, people will experience discomfort or swelling. If the discomfort becomes pronounced, or you experienced difficulty opening your jaw, swelling in the gums, bad breath, or bleeding gums, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist for an assessment of the area.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
A simple wisdom tooth extraction is recommended for wisdom teeth that have fully or partially emerged from the gum line. This process requires a local anaesthetic and can be performed at either of our Sydney-based practices. The tooth is lifted from the socket and removed whole, without the need for incisions.
At Toothsome, we offer twilight sedation for anxious patients. Although you will remain awake and able to answer questions, the medication makes you drowsy, and you may not remember the procedure at all.
A complex wisdom tooth removal procedure may require general anaesthesia and admission to a hospital.
Dr Willis has admitting rights to reputable hospitals to provide you with access to a specialist anaesthetist and the supporting medical staff.
Once you’ve received the anaesthesia and asleep, Dr Willis will make an incision in your gum and bone to reveal the impacted tooth. Then, remove the whole tooth or section it into pieces, removing them one by one.
Finally, Dr Willis will clean and close the incision. You will need a responsible person to take you home and stay with you for 24 hours after a general anaesthetic.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery Timeline
Your wisdom tooth extraction recovery may take around seven to ten days. However, several activities can hasten or lengthen recovery time. Dr Willis will provide detailed post-operative instructions specific for you.
The First 24 Hours
In the 24 hours following your wisdom tooth removal, you’ll want to rest. If you had a simple wisdom tooth extraction and didn’t receive general anaesthesia, you might be able to return to work the day of the surgery. However, you may be more comfortable taking the day off work.
Aftercare For Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery
There are a few easy tips to decrease your discomfort and speed up your recovery. In addition to these tips, you should also follow all aftercare instructions that Dr Willis provides. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to clarify with Dr Willis before you leave the Toothsome or the hospital.
- Elevate Your Head
When resting, keep your head elevated with several pillows. This position helps prevent pooling of the blood in the wound, which can cause swelling and discomfort. You may want to continue this practice for several days after the surgery.
- Avoid Hard Foods
Hard to chew foods can disturb the surgery site, causing bleeding. Eat soft nutrient-dense foods like warm soups, bananas, and fish.
- Drink Cool Liquids
Wait for hot drinks like tea and coffee to cool down before drinking. Hot beverages and drinking through a straw can cause the blood clot to dislodge, resulting in bleeding, and may lead to a secondary complication known as dry socket. You may also burn yourself if the numbness has not worn off from the procedure.
- Don’t Smoke
For two weeks after your wisdom tooth removal, you’ll need to avoid smoking. Smoking can delay healing. Some of our patients use this opportunity to quit smoking.
- Use an Ice Pack
For 24 hours after your wisdom tooth extraction, you can use an ice pack to reduce swelling and discomfort. Wrap the ice pack in a soft towel and apply it to the side of your face for 5-10 minutes at a time.
When to Contact Your Dr Willis
You may experience swelling, bruising, or mild bleeding for up to ten days after your wisdom tooth removal. To relieve any discomfort, take medications as recommended and prescribed and follow the post-operative directions. If you have any concerns, please call Dr Willis at any time.
Contact Toothsome Today
If your wisdom teeth are causing you discomfort, you may require wisdom tooth removal. Dr Willis at Toothsome is available to answer any questions you may have about the procedure and the recovery time.
If you’re experiencing swollen gums, back molar discomfort, or are having trouble opening your jaw, call us on (02) 8203 8786 to book an appointment at one of our practices in Chatswood and Baulkham Hills.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.