Have you recently been given the distressing news from your dentist that it is time to have your wisdom teeth removed? Or even more distressing—you receive the news regarding your child.
The idea of oral surgery can be frightening, but if you take steps in advance to be well-prepared, it will make your surgery and recovery go much smoother.
Chris Tye, DDS, MD, has been removing teeth for years, and he understands all too well the concerns patients and their caregivers have when it comes to oral surgery.
Here, he will offer 6 tips on how to prepare for your wisdom teeth removal surgery.
- Choose an oral surgeon
- Ask all the questions
- Go shopping
- Have a “Plan B”
- Prepare your home
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Tip #1 for Wisdom Teeth Removal: Choose an Oral Surgeon
While there are many general dentists out there who perform wisdom teeth removal, you want to be sure you go with someone who has the training, education, and experience. For the most part, tooth extractions are a relatively “minor” surgery, but complications can occur, especially for impacted teeth. Potential risks include bleeding, infection, and nerve damage.
An oral surgeon has received an additional four years of training in oral surgery after completing dental school. Also, they perform surgeries all day, every day. When you compare this to a dentist who took a weekend course on tooth removal and performs maybe a handful a month, the answer should be obvious.
Oral surgeons also receive extensive training and experience in anesthesia other dentists do not get. Therefore, you can rest assured you will receive effective, safe anesthesia for your surgery.
Tip #2 for Wisdom Teeth Removal: Ask All the Questions
Before your consultation appointment, prepare a list of all the questions you have. If you have them written down, you won’t forget to ask. While the dental team will most likely cover most of the information you need, you may want additional answers.
Some great questions to ask include:
- What type of anesthesia will you use?
- Will I (or my child) need to fast, and if so, for how long?
- Will I need a ride home?
- What time should we arrive?
- Can I fill out paperwork in advance?
- Is there anything I need to avoid before surgery? (For instance, certain medications)
- How long will the procedure take?
- How long before I (my child) can return to work (or school, or sports)
- Can I get any prescriptions in advance, so I don’t have to get them the day of surgery?
Remember, your dental team wants you fully informed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get all the answers you need to ease your mind and help avoid confusion and stress.
Tip #3 for Wisdom Teeth Removal: Go Shopping
If you are the one having surgery, you don’t want someone else to have to make a run to the store for you after your surgery. And if it is your child who will be recovering, the last thing you will want to do is leave them home alone.
If your surgeon gave you prescriptions, you want to fill them before the day of surgery. You may also want to pick up a few small ice packs.
While at the store, stock up on “recovery” foods. Pick up lots of soft foods, such as soups, eggs, pudding, Jell-O, yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, and cottage cheese.
You also want cold items, such as ice cream and the makings for smoothies (you want to avoid berries with seeds, such as blackberries and raspberries).
But remember, you DO NOT want to use a straw after wisdom teeth removal.
Another great thing to stock up on is things to drink—for instance, Gatorade, protein drinks, flavored water, and juice.
Also, tea bags can be helpful for post-op bleeding.
Tip #4 for Wisdom Teeth Removal: Have a “Plan B”
Life happens, and it is always a great idea to be prepared with a backup plan.
If your child is the patient, you will want to be present for the entire surgery. And then, of course, you will want to bring your child home and offer lots of TLC. But what if on the day of surgery, your other child wakes up sick?
What if you go to leave and your car won’t start? Or if your friend who is supposed to drive you calls with a family emergency?
Before the day of surgery, find a friend or family member who is willing to be your backup. This will make your day much less stressful if the unexpected happens.
Tip #5 for Wisdom Teeth Removal: Prepare Your Home
For the smoothest recovery, you want to be as proactive as possible. Get all your “chores” done well in advance so that you can have a restful recovery.
Set up a recovery area that is comfortable, safe, and includes a lot of pillows. A recliner works well, as it is best to keep the head elevated after surgery.
Make sure everything you or your child might need is within reach. For instance, water, a box of Kleenex, the TV remote, cell phone, magazines, books, a laptop, gaming equipment—whatever the patient may be interested in doing. (We suggest being careful about social media activity and texting/calling people while under the influence of anesthesia!)
If you want to be particularly proactive, you may want to consider that a sudden attack of nausea and vomiting can happen. As can a good bit of bleeding. Have gauze, a trashcan, and some towels nearby.
Make sure the ice packs are in the freezer.
Tip #6 for Wisdom Teeth Removal: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
If you (or your child) will be receiving IV sedation, you may be instructed to fast. Avoid the problems that dehydration can cause by hydrating as much as possible for a few days before surgery. Water is good, but you may want to consider drinks that contain carbohydrates, such as sports drinks, vitamin water, and juice.
Dehydration increases the risk of post-op nausea and vomiting. It also makes your IV much harder to start. So, drink up and stay hydrated.
Call Us Today
If you are in the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake, or Keller area and are needing your wisdom teeth removed, give us a call at (817) 552-3223 today. One of our helpful team members would love the opportunity to answer your questions and get you scheduled for a consultation.