Did you know that oral surgeons collectively remove ten million wisdom teeth each year? Even if every patient had all four teeth out at once, that’s a lot of choppers!
As routine as wisdom tooth removal surgery may be, it can be nerve-wracking for the patients that those teeth belong to. Many individuals are nervous about their surgery and want to do everything they can to prepare. When everyone you know has seemingly undergone this procedure, the advice can become overwhelming, and it’s challenging to determine what to focus on first.
That’s why we’ve gathered up nine practical tips for preparing for your wisdom tooth extraction. We’ll address everything from pain relief to ensuring you’re well-fed during your recovery.
Read on to learn how to get ready to bid your wisdom teeth farewell with less stress.
1. Go Shopping First
You probably won’t feel very hungry right after your procedure, but your tummy will start rumbling eventually. When it does, you’ll want to have safe, nutritious food on hand that won’t interfere with healing. Remember, you may not be feeling very well, so it’s wise to have food in the house that doesn’t require special preparation.
If you hit the store before your procedure, you won’t have to think about feeding yourself during your recovery. Pick up some soft, smooth, nutritionally dense foods like yogurt, broth, applesauce, oatmeal, and mashed potatoes. Ice cream also makes a good post-surgery treat!
2. Get Some Sleep
Your body works hard while you’re sleeping, and rest is vital to good health and oral care. We understand that you may be nervous, but try to get a full night’s rest leading up to the day of your procedure. The healthier you are, the better you’ll feel and the more resilient you’ll be during the healing process.
3. Clear Up Your Schedule
Dental surgery may seem fairly minor, but healing takes time. We recommend taking at least two days off from work or school following your surgery, not including the day of the procedure itself. You’ll need all your energy to focus on keeping your body fueled and hydrated, and timing your pain medication will feel like a full-time job!
If you can take more time off, you should. Your body will need rest. If you rush your return to work or school, you increase the odds of complications, requiring more time off anyway.
4. Arrange a Ride Home
Your dental care procedure may or may not involve anesthesia. Either way, driving immediately following surgery isn’t wise. If possible, arrange a ride from a trusted friend or family member so you won’t have to worry about getting home and crawling right into bed.
While it’s okay to rideshare on the way to your procedure, it’s not ideal for the ride home. Remember, you’ll likely have a mouth full of gauze, and you may experience some nausea. It’s not the ideal time to make a new friend!
5. Put the Cigarettes and Alcohol Away
While it may seem like an excellent way to relax, your surgeon will ask that you refrain from drinking or smoking for at least twelve hours before your extraction. Furthermore, smoking and drinking can impair healing. If possible, put the cigarettes and alcohol away until you’ve gotten the all-clear from your surgeon during your follow-up appointment.
6. Get Your Room Ready
You won’t feel your best when you arrive home from your oral surgery. Be kind to your future self and prepare your room with everything you might need for a restful recovery.
It can be nice to change the linens, fluff the pillows, and set out your favorite pajamas. If you like to read on a tablet or listen to podcasts, make sure you’ve charged all your technology. You might want to move your phone charger closer to your recovery spot, too.
7. Pick Out Your Clothes the Night Before
You don’t need to wear anything special for your procedure, but we recommend picking out something comfortable. A t-shirt and sweats is a popular oral surgery ensemble.
We do recommend that patients with long hair pull it back for the procedure. If you wear contact lenses, swap them for your glasses on the day of your surgery. Furthermore, don’t worry about makeup—lipstick and dental procedures don’t mix!
8. Pick Up Your Medications
You can often arrange to call in your post-surgical prescriptions before your procedure. They’ll either be ready before your surgery or be waiting for you right after you’re done. You’ll want to stay on top of timing your doses, and it helps to start right away.
9. Request Information From Your Surgeon
Every mouth is different so every wisdom tooth removal will involve unique choices and challenges. Likewise, every oral surgery practice will approach the procedure in its own way. While the above tips are great general guidelines, reach out to your surgeon for specific preparation and aftercare instructions, so you don’t miss anything essential.
If possible, read any aftercare instructions before going in for your surgery. It can help to know what to expect. Focusing is also much easier when you’re clear-headed and feeling well.
A Low-Stress Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery
Wisdom tooth removal surgery may be a standard procedure, but it’s natural to feel anxious. A little preparation goes a long way in calming your nerves. If you’re proactive, you will surely have an easy, stress-free recovery.
At Jenkins, Morrow, and Gayheart, a knowledgeable, experienced, and compassionate oral surgeon performs each procedure. If you’re nervous about your upcoming dental surgery, know that you’re in the best possible hands. Schedule your consultation today to meet our incredible staff and see our state-of-the-art facilities for yourself.