Just about everyone has heard at least a few horror stories about wisdom tooth extractions. They often involve pain, swelling, diet restrictions, scary medications, and lingering fears over going to the dentist.
After hearing these stories, people often wait for longer than they should to have their wisdom teeth removed, which is a huge mistake since it can create unnecessary complications. Instead of falling prey to all the bad press, read on to find out about seven tips for surviving wisdom tooth extraction that will make the whole process of surgery and recovery much easier.
1. Choose the Right Oral Surgeon
Like regular doctors, some oral surgeons have a better bedside manner than others. Find a dental practice that hires dentists, oral surgeons, and support staff who understand that major dental procedures can be scary and go out of their way to make the process more comfortable for anxious patients.
The wisdom tooth extractions at magnolia dental are a perfect example. Every oral surgeon is highly skilled in not just wisdom tooth extractions, but all forms of dental surgery, and the practice offers a range of dental sedation options to keep patients calm and comfortable.
2. Get Prepared
Plan in advance to take three or four days off from work following the procedure, and find a friend or family member who can stay the night immediately following it. Try to get a good night of sleep before the surgery, and spend some time becoming familiar with what to expect from both the extraction and the recovery.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes is always bad for people’s oral and general health, but it’s a serious no-no following wisdom tooth extractions. Smoking after oral surgery can increase patients’ risk of experiencing complications such as infections and dry sockets, and it slows down healing times. Quitting smoking in advance to reduce temptation during the healing period is the best way to go.
4. Avoid Solid Foods
Patients can further reduce their chances of complications following the surgery by sticking to liquids and soft foods for at least a few days. It’s also best to avoid hot or spicy dishes and beverages. Experts also recommend avoiding straws for at least a few days.
5. Apply Ice
Cryotherapy, which involves applying ice to the outside of the cheek, can cut down on swelling, bleeding, and overall discomfort. Some people recommend that patients put ice in their mouths to get it closer to the extraction site. Anyone who chooses this route should be careful not to suck on the ice, though, as doing so can cause setbacks with healing.
6. Don’t Panic Over a Little Blood
A small amount of bleeding is normal following a wisdom tooth extraction, so don’t panic. Use gauze pads to reduce the bleeding, switching them out for clean ones periodically as they become inundated. If the bleeding is extreme or continues for days after the surgery, call the dentist.
7. Get Plenty of Rest
Want to reduce the chances of complications and improve healing times? Avoid strenuous activities for at least a few days and try to get plenty of rest. Sleep allows the body to heal naturally, and being well-rested can also reduce perceptions of pain.
The Bottom Line
Almost every adult has had one or more wisdom teeth removed, and the whole process usually goes quite smoothly. Don’t fall prey to horror stories. Follow the tips above and everything should go just fine.
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