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6 Tips to Speed Recovery After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

6 Tips to Speed Recovery After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Wisdom teeth are the last of your teeth to erupt, usually when you’re between ages 17-25. While for some people this third set of molars comes in normally, for most, they either don’t emerge through the gum tissue at all, or they cause problems when they do, problems that require an oral surgeon to remove them to preserve your oral health.

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Advanced Dental Implants, with locations in Bayside, Queens, and the Upper East side of New York, New York, our oral surgeons Dr. Scott Goldstein and Dr. Peter Rosa expertly handle a wide range of dental procedures, including wisdom teeth extraction. We offer state-of-the-art technology to remove the problematic teeth quickly and easily, but it’s important that you understand how to speed your recovery. Here’s what you need to know.

Wisdom teeth problems

By the time your wisdom teeth are ready to come in, you’ve already got 28 teeth settled into their assigned places. This can make the space too tight for four additional large teeth to fit in comfortably. In this case, it’s prudent to remove the teeth to prevent overcrowding

If the wisdom teeth are partially or completely impacted (trapped between bone and gum), failure to remove the teeth can result in a number of complications:

Wisdom teeth problems are more likely to occur after age 30, both because the roots grow longer as the teeth develop and the bone becomes more dense. That also means if you need to have them removed, it’s harder to do the older you get. In addition, recovery takes longer, since healing slows as you age, and there’s a greater risk of complications, such as infections.

As a result, if your X-rays indicate your wisdom teeth might have problems later on, even if they’re fine at the moment, it’s probably best to have your oral surgeon remove them sooner rather than later.

The extraction process

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Advanced Dental Implants, our surgeons perform all wisdom tooth extractions as an outpatient procedure using general anaesthesia. The entire surgery, which includes cutting through the gum, removing the affected tooth, and suturing up the wound, takes about 30-60 minutes; with time for recovery, you can expect to be in the office for around 90 minutes. 

Since you’re going to be groggy after the procedure, we ask that you have a responsible adult present with you to drive you home.

6 tips to speed recovery after having your wisdom teeth removed

We place a gauze pack over the wound to help staunch the bleeding, and we watch you for a bit once you wake up to ensure it’s positioned well, the bleeding stops, and you’re alert enough to leave. Of course, we provide you with written postoperative instructions, and we set you up with an appointment a week later to remove the stitches and ensure that your mouth is healing properly.

There are several things you can do to help speed your recovery; here are six:

  1. Avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously
  2. Avoid touching the wound
  3. Eat soft foods for a couple of days (jaw will be stiff)
  4. Drink fluids regularly (aids healing)
  5. Avoid using straws and don’t smoke (see below)
  6. Take prescribed pain medications according to doctor’s instructions

Straws and smoking are definite no-gos following tooth extraction, for at least 48-72 hours. That’s because they both can dislodge the blood clot sealing up the wound. If this happens, you may experience dry socket syndrome, an extremely painful condition.

On the day after surgery, you can use an ice pack to reduce any swelling, and you may have some minor bleeding and pain — how much varies from one person to another. Remain on soft foods for a few days so you don’t have to open your mouth widely, and switch to heat on the cheek for a day or so to relax the muscles.

If you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, there’s no better place in the New York City area to go than Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Advanced Dental Implants. Give us a call at either of our locations to set up a consultation with one of our surgeons, or book online with us today.

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