Most dentists and oral surgeons recommend wisdom teeth removal happen at the point when the third molars have developed roots but have not yet erupted through the gums. At this stage of development, the teeth are not as firmly embedded in the jaw bone and have not yet caused any alignment problems by pressing against the other teeth. This point may happen at different ages for different patients, but most are between 16 and 19 years of age when they should have the wisdom teeth removed.
For many teens, wisdom teeth removal is the first surgery they will experience. It may also be their first time dealing with post-operative discomfort and healing. Some take the convalescent period like a champ, while others will have a lot more trouble adjusting to the inconvenience.
Dr. Chris Tye treats a lot of teens in the process of having their wisdom teeth extracted. These are his favorite tips for parents who wish to prepare their children for what is often their first surgical experience.
Do you need Grapevine wisdom teeth removal? Texas Oral Surgery Specialists are your source for specialty care. Call us at 817.552.3223 to make an appointment with our oral surgeon.
What You May Wish to Discuss with Your Teen
Chances are, your teen has already heard stories about wisdom teeth removal from his or her peers and knows someone who has been through the process. Still, we encourage parent caregivers to have a conversation with their children before the day of surgery, to help them anticipate and be better prepared for the experience.
IV Sedation Can Be Disorienting. If your teen has never been sedated, they may be nervous about anesthesia. If your teen is anxious or fearful about the surgery, let us know. We will take the time to explain the process and help your child understand what will happen and how he/she may feel afterward. Knowledge is empowering, and we want our patients to feel confident and comfortable at all times.
There Will Be Some Pain. As with any surgery, there will be post-operative pain after the anesthetics and painkillers wear off. Sometimes knowing and mentally preparing oneself for this reality can fortify a patient’s nerve and encourage them to be brave and patient. We will usually provide a prescription painkiller for the days after surgery. Use your best judgment when dispensing prescription medication. You know your child best, so be compassionate, but prudent, when dispensing painkillers.
Rest! It will be intuitive and natural for teens to nap on the day of surgery, as the sedative medication we administer will still be coursing through their veins. However, they may think they can get up and get back to their routine the next day. In truth, the best way to heal the body is to get a lot of rest for a few days after the surgery.
Encourage your teen set up camp on the sofa with the head resting on a pillow, so it is at a higher point than the rest of the body. Do what you can to help them stay in a position that makes it easy to snooze. Sleeping as much as possible is the best approach in the first days after surgery, as it will give the body the energy it needs to promote proper healing.
Post-Op Instructions Prevent Prolonged Pain! We will give you a detailed set of post-operative directions for home care after surgery, and we encourage you to read these with your teen so there’s no confusion. Following our instructions, especially directly after surgery, will help ensure the blood clots properly at the surgical sites, so the painful condition called dry sockets does not develop.
Any suction in the mouth should be avoided as much as possible, even if it means drooling onto a towel for the first day! Encourage your teens to keep the mouth slack (i.e., “zombie mouth”) and speak and eat as little as possible at first.
Go Shopping Together Before the Day of Surgery. Let your teen pick out his or her favorite soft foods for the days immediately after surgery. Think soups, smoothies, pudding, gelatin, and mac and cheese—anything that doesn’t require chewing and will help your child stay nourished. Comfort foods will help lift your teen’s spirits when feeling poorly, so feel free to indulge them for a few days.
Contact Us for More Information
You can find information on wisdom teeth removal on our website, but feel free to call us if you or your child have any questions about an upcoming wisdom teeth extraction. We are here to help!
Contact Texas Oral Surgery Specialists for Grapevine wisdom teeth removal. Our office is located at 6904 Colleyville Blvd (Hwy 26), convenient to both Grapevine and Southlake, TX. Call us at 817.552.3223 to make an appointment.