Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common dental surgeries and can be associated with some painful memories for many adults. It seems like everyone has a story about their experience, whether it's a crazy thing they said as the anaesthesia was wearing off, or what they wish they had known about recovery before going under. To help keep recovery stories on the lighter side, here's a quick overview of what to expect after your wisdom teeth extraction and how to make your recovery as painless as possible.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last adult teeth to surface, usually between the ages of 17 and 21. Wisdom teeth are not necessary for a healthy smile, and not everyone keeps them. If wisdom teeth do not grow in properly, which usually happens when they don't have enough room to emerge, they can create serious problems. When this happens, the wisdom teeth can crowd the mouth and cause future oral health problems, such as pain and infection.
According to the American Dental Association, people should have their wisdom teeth checked before the age of 20 to see how they are growing in, and check for wisdom teeth impaction while the roots are developing. Your dentist or oral surgeon will most likely recommend that you have the final molars removed in a single outpatient procedure. Although wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure, it is considered a form of major surgery. During the surgery, general or local anaesthesia will be used to make it more comfortable, but once it wears off, you can expect some discomfort and pain. Ask your dentist which type of sedation to expect so you can be prepared when you wake up from surgery, at which time recovery begins.