What You Need to Know Before and After Wisdom Teeth Removal

At the very back of your mouth, in the four corners (both sides, top, and bottom), are your "third molars," also known as your wisdom teeth — that is, if you have any at all. Up to 37% of people are missing one or more wisdom teeth. But just because you can't see them, it doesn't necessarily mean they aren't there. 

Many people have wisdom teeth that never erupt through the gums due to lack of space. If your jaw isn't big enough to accommodate these teeth, which usually come in when you are between 17 and 21 years old, they can turn sideways, grind into the roots of other teeth, or become impacted in the gum, causing infection and pain.

At Expressions In Dentistry in Folsom, California, our experienced team of dental specialists can determine if you have wisdom teeth, how many you have, and whether or not they’re causing or have potential to cause problems. 

Before wisdom tooth removal

You need a full set of X-rays to determine where your wisdom teeth are and how they are situated. Our team maps your mouth, including the location and position of your wisdom teeth, and notes where there may be pressure points forming. If your wisdom teeth are stuck above your other teeth, you may be experiencing pain.

We let you know if we recommend wisdom tooth removal. Before your surgical appointment, you need to provide a complete list of medications or supplements you take. You might need to stop taking one or more of them for a day or two before the removal. 

We offer conscious sedation, which means you also can’t eat or drink for 6-8 hours before your surgery, and you need someone to drive you home. 

After wisdom tooth removal

You’re allowed to remain in comfort and recover from your procedure for a short time in our office, so we can make sure the bleeding from the extraction site has slowed and your sedation is wearing off properly. We go over your aftercare paperwork again with you. 

The main thing you want to avoid is dislodging the thick blood clot that forms where your tooth was. The clot protects your gums, and if you lose it, you’ll have dry socket, which is very painful. You need to keep the extraction point(s) covered in gauze and avoid drinking from a straw or swishing water in your mouth.

We prescribe pain medication if necessary to minimize your discomfort and help you through the first few days after your surgery. You want to stick to soft foods, and you may use an ice pack on the outside of your face to help with swelling. Usually, by the third day after surgery your side effects will be mostly gone, and a few weeks after that, your gums will have healed completely. 

The words “extraction” and “oral surgery” can be scary, but the process doesn't have to be. Our goal is to make wisdom tooth removal as smooth and easy as possible. Contact our office today at 916-252-9186, or book your visit online.

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