Havre de Grace Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Dr. Leonard Spector explains what to expect before, during, and after wisdom teeth removal.
A typical patient who has been referred to our office for wisdom teeth removal is a teenager whose wisdom teeth are beginning to erupt into the mouth or have not erupted and may be impacted and indicated for removal.
Prior to Surgery
Prior to treatment, we schedule a 30-minute pre-surgical consultation with the patient (and parent or guardian if the patient is a minor). I go over all the risks, benefits, and concerns related to the removal of the wisdom teeth. I review with them the dental x-ray and their medical history.
We discuss the means of how the wisdom teeth will be removed as well as the type of anesthesia to be used. Will it be just local anesthesia or IV sedation or local anesthesia with laughing gas? My goal is always to keep the patient comfortable during procedures.
At the consultation appointment, we review all their pre-op instructions with them. If they will be going to sleep, the patient is instructed not to have anything to eat or drink after midnight and to have someone who is at least 18 years old accompany them to the office and drive them home.
Day of Surgery
We typically do wisdom teeth extractions in our office for the convenience of the patient. The procedures usually last between 30 and 45 minutes. After the procedure, we allow the patient some recovery time in our office, but the anesthesia wears off quickly. The patient wakes up and we review follow-up instructions.
There tends to be minimal post-op discomfort or swelling after these procedures. Due to my advanced training in wisdom tooth removal, we can keep the incisions extremely small and the procedure times short.
Any post-op discomfort can be managed with prescription medication. Patients who have some difficulty opening their mouth widely will be on a soft diet. There may be some swelling of the jaw, particularly the lower jaw, after surgery, and we give the patient medicine and instructions to keep swelling to a minimum. Most people take a few days off from work or school to rest and recover after surgery.
Dr. Leonard Spector