How to prepare for wisdom teeth removal

The thought of wisdom teeth removal surgery can be overwhelming for many people.  Preparation is key!  Your oral surgeon should do a consultation to go over the procedure, the risks and benefits, and after care instructions.  At my office, we have a whole booklet of information on self care after wisdom teeth removal that is given to each patient.  Here are some additional tips on preparing for your surgery.


Tip #1: Prepare soft foods in advanced prior to your surgery.  Soups, broths, mac and cheese, applesauce, scrambled eggs, and smoothies are excellent choices.  Soft foods are recommended during the early healing phase, because it can be uncomfortable to open wide or chew efficiently after wisdom teeth removal surgery.    Avoid making foods that are too acidic or spicy – they can be irritating to the tissues.


Tip #2: Have a bag of peas or an ice pack ready to go in the freezer.  Apply to the cheeks after surgery to reduce pain and swelling.  You can even place the ice packs against your cheeks and wrap your head with a long towel or scarf for a hands free option!


Tip #3:  Plan to temporarily change your sleeping position.  Sleeping with an extra pillow or two behind your head to elevate the it above the level of your heart can decrease the amount of swelling.  Keep in mind that swelling tends to peak around day 3 after your surgery, so continue to keep your head elevated throughout the first week of recovery.
Tip #4: Avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 6 hours prior to your appointment.  An empty stomach is a requirement for your safety during any IV sedation procedure.  During general anesthesia, your reflexes are blunted and there can be dangerous consequences if you vomit up stomach contents at any point during the procedure.  There may be some exceptions to the fasting/drinking rule such as taking required daily medications, so be sure to discuss your specific plan with your oral surgeon.


Tip #5: Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing to your surgery.  A short sleeved shirt is best for obtaining IV access and attaching anesthesia monitors.


Having wisdom teeth removal surgery is a once in a life time event, and my goal is always to make that experience as easy and atraumatic as possible.  I hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare for your surgery!



To your health and prosperity,

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