You're scheduled to have your wisdom teeth removed and are starting to get anxious. Instead of worrying about seeing the dentist for the extraction, prepare yourself and your home for the event. Once home from the appointment, rest will be your priority. Having everything ready when you get home will make this an easy and relaxing recovery.
One Week Prior to the Dental Appointment
Arrange with someone to take you to your appointment and bring you back home. You'll be groggy after the surgery and it would be unsafe to drive. Your dentist will give you one or more prescriptions to pick up on the way home so having someone help will make that task easier. Ask your friend to stay with you at home the rest of the day or at least until any sedation is gone from your system completely.
Decide how you will spend your time relaxing after surgery and get together a variety of books, movies or video games to keep you occupied. You'll likely spend much of the day in bed or a comfortable chair so make a little "nest" around it with these items in reach. Place a small table near the bed or chair to hold your glass of water, pain medication and TV remote so you won't have to get up often to find something.
The Day Before the Appointment
Go grocery shopping and stock up on soups, gelatin, canned fruit and other soft foods that you enjoy eating and snacking on. Your dentist won't want you chewing anything tough for a few days to give the gums time to heal. You'll likely prefer foods that aren't too hot or cold as you may have some temperature sensitivity for a few days.
At the drug store, pick up ice packs for use to reduce swelling. Sea salt makes a good saltwater mouth rinse to remove blood and reduce the risk of infection. A bottle of ibuprofen is useful for mild pain and inflammation. Your dentist will give you a prescription for stronger pain medication for your first day or two after surgery.
After the Surgery
You'll rest in the dentist's waiting area until you feel like going home. Make sure your friend is waiting for you to help you to the car because you may still be a little light-headed.
Your dentist will place gauze in your mouth and tell how long you should leave it there. The incisions need time to clot so don't remove the gauze before it's time. You'll then replace the gauze with a fresh piece and change it periodically until the bleeding stops.
When you get home and settled into your preferred place to rest, you'll notice some swelling. Ice packs for the first few days placed lightly on your cheeks will prevent further swelling and reduce the pain. Your dentist may have you switch to a heating pad after a few days if the pain and swelling continue.
Ask your friend to remind you when it's time to take any pain medication and antibiotics. Keep on schedule with these medications to keep the pain down and reduce the risk of infection. You'll have less pain by staying on a schedule with the pain medications. If you wait until the pain is unbearable before taking anything, it won't be as effective.
Your dentist will recommend how long to rest before returning to your normal activities. Plan on taking it easy until then.
Take the time to prepare your home, and yourself, for an easy and relaxing recovery from your wisdom teeth surgery. Talk with a dentist, like Accent On Dentistry - Rowena R Martir DMD, about any other questions or concerns about the procedure or recovery.