A common question that we run into is, “how do I get over the fear of getting my wisdom teeth pulled?” We often hear our Los Angeles and Beverly Hills patients saying that they’re down-right “scared of wisdom teeth extraction.” Some even say they would rather deal with the pain than the procedure! Being afraid of your oral surgeon and the procedure done is mostly irrational. Many of these fears are based on horror stories you’ve from grandparents or the internet. The best way to combat fear is to become familiar with the unknown. In this case the unknown is the wisdom teeth extraction procedure.

Wisdom teeth removals are the most common procedure your oral surgeon or dentist performs. He/she probably performs an average of one per day, and has the procedure down to an art. The actual act of removing wisdom teeth involves some anesthesia, a skilled hand, and a proper recovery.

The Procedure

Wisdom teeth extraction involves opening the gum tissue over the tooth and taking out any bone that is covering the tooth. Your oral surgeon will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Sometimes the dentist or oral surgeon will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. At the end of the procedure, you will either need a bone graft to replace some of the bone that was removed with the tooth, and/or you will likely need stitches, which will dissolve over time.

Now, that might sound scary and a little painful. But be mindful of the fact that you’ll be under anesthesia or a very happy patient on “laughing gas.” Either way, you will feel no pain during the procedure, and for a few hours following the procedure.

A common fear among those getting their wisdom teeth removed in is the amount of blood loss. Many people can’t stand the sight of blood, especially their own. This is why it’s important to follow the oral surgeon’s medical advice for a quick healing process. Following your oral post-surgery directions will also help to ease some of the swelling.

Recovery

The process is fairly simple, and in most cases you’ll sleep through it anyways. However, the recovery process is all in your hands, and the hands of your friends and family. Have someone accompany you to the wisdom teeth removal appointment so they’re aware of the recovery steps. You’ll also need them to give you a ride home. In most cases, the recovery period lasts a few days. Some patients will recover in two days; some in a week. Be prepared to take it easy for as long as it takes.

Your oral surgeon will provide you with gauze to be placed in the areas where your wisdom teeth were pulled. Bite gently on the gauze periodically and change them frequently. Your mouth will be very numb after the procedure, so be careful not to bite your cheeks or tongue. Prop up your head with pillows and pop in a movie or a good book. Don’t lie flat on your back, as this will increase the bleeding.

If swelling is a big concern, use ice packs on the outsides of your cheeks for the first 24 hours. Some patients experience little to no swelling at all, while others will experience more. Speak to your oral surgeon about how impacted your wisdom teeth are and how much swelling you should expect.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do not smoke for at least, AT LEAST, 24 hours after surgery. Eat soft foods such as pudding or soup, and avoid using a straw for a few days. Do your best to avoid irritating the extraction site area by not touching it with your tongue or fingers.

While any surgical procedure has risks, having your wisdom teeth removed is a very safe procedure. Also, the positive outcome far outweighs the pain you will endure if you don’t have the procedure done. If you’re still having fears about a wisdom teeth extraction, talk to your oral surgeon about those fears.

Source by Kandice L Day