How to Survive Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Dentists say having your wisdom teeth removed is a smart idea, but if you’re not feeling particularly wise after the extraction, you’re not alone. It’s normal for you to be uncomfortable for the first few days after the procedure; expect some pain and swelling. But fear not! These tips can help you survive the ordeal and come out the other side smiling.

Talk to Your Surgeon Beforehand

No matter how common it may seem, wisdom tooth extraction is still a form of surgery. It’s very important to learn as much about the process as possible. Get to know your surgeon, especially if the procedure will be your first time meeting with them. No question is a dumb one so ask as many as you can think of. Your comfort before, during and after the operation is top priority.

Plan Ahead

Again, this is surgery we’re talking about. You’ll most likely be put under anesthesia for the procedure and will be in no condition to do basically anything when they discharge you afterwards. Make sure someone can pick you up and have a space set up at home to spend the next few days of recovery. Many people try to schedule their operation on a Thursday or Friday so they can be back to work or school by Monday. If you haven’t already, let your supervisors or professors know that you’ll be out of commission for a while.

Watch Your Diet

You probably won’t feel up to eating solid foods for at least the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Expect to drink a lot of liquids before moving up to softer things, like pudding and gelatin, and then consider returning to your normal diet. If nothing else, use this time as an excuse to eat as much ice cream as you can handle! It’s also best to avoid using straws; the suction required to get drinks into your mouth will be much more uncomfortable than you expect, and increases the risk of painful dry sockets.

Get Some Rest

No matter how quickly you want to jump back into school or work, getting rest is the only thing that will ensure you heal properly. Expect to spend at least the first few days in bed, or on your couch, sleeping and relaxing. Even if you’re not particularly tired, don’t overexert yourself. Take time to finish that show you’ve been watching, beat that level you were stuck on or finish that novel you’ve been meaning to get to.

Follow up with Aftercare

It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself after you’ve left the surgeon’s office. Follow whatever instructions the doctor has recommended. You might not feel like opening your mouth, but slowly stretching your jaw every once in a while will prevent it from stiffening up. The day after surgery, begin regularly rinsing your mouth with a mixture of salt and warm water. This will reduce swelling and pain. You can also alternate between cold and heat packs to soothe any discomfort.

It might not be the most enjoyable process, but getting your wisdom teeth removed is a battle everyone can win. If you have any more questions about the procedure or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us.

The Dangers of Missing Back Teeth

Dental Implants

Missing back teeth is fairly common, with 70% of the U.S. population missing either one or multiple back, molar teeth. Many Americans go about their daily lives without giving much thought to them, but there are hidden dangers that come with missing teeth. 

Although some may believe missing teeth is merely a cosmetic issue, it’s also a hygienic health issue that can compromise the integrity of your remaining teeth and jaw. Losing teeth can affect the alveolar bone, which teeth are connected to in your jawbone. The presence of teeth stimulates it with stress caused by chewing. Without these constant stresses the alveolar bone gradually atrophies due to the absence of teeth.

The alveolar bone width around a tooth can decrease up to 25% in as little as year if the tooth is missing.

When the bone and enough teeth are lost, your ability to chew normally and speak is severely hindered. Additionally, losing teeth and jawbone mass can affect your facial features cosmetically, making you appear older than you really are.

The only way to fix this problem with near-guaranteed success is with dental implants.

Fixing the Problem with Dental Implants

The dental implant process prevents the loss of bone mass as dental implants are fused to the alveolar bone, giving it the stress and structure it needs to maintain its shape. Dental implants are a fairly minor surgical procedure where an orthodontic surgeon will properly sedate you before the surgery begins to minimize pain.

The surgeon then makes small incisions in the site where your missing tooth is located to allow access to the alveolar bone. The surgeon then drills into the site until it’s properly sized for the implant to ensure a precise fit. The implant is then inserted into the empty cavity and bonded to alveolar bone. The surgeon then ensures that the gum flaps are enclosed around the implant just like normal teeth to finish the bonding process and prevent infection. 

It’s important to note that for surgery to commence the patient must keep their gums and teeth healthy with daily brushing and flossing. Unhealthy teeth can complicate the procedure or prevent a surgeon from clearing a patient for the procedure in the pre-surgery phase.

The success rate of the procedure is high (between 95 – 97%) and is recommended as the ideal solution to address the issues associated with missing teeth.

Receive Dental Implants with Greater Louisville Oral and Maxillofacial

Don’t let your missing back teeth become a greater health issue. Contact Greater Louisville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, P.S.C. to replace one or more of your missing teeth and preserve the overall quality of your oral health.

At Greater Louisville, we’ll examine your gums to determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implant surgery utilizing X-rays and physical examinations of your mouth to make an accurate assessment. Our dental surgeons have the expertise and experience to ensure your dental implant procedure is a success, providing direction and guidance both before and after the procedure has been completed.