After a recent trip to the dentist, where they did an x-ray of my teeth, I learned that I would have to get my wisdom teeth removed. I was very nervous when I learned this. I have never had any kind of surgery, and my limited understanding of wisdom tooth removal was enough that I knew that it involved oral surgery. I asked my dentist is there was any alternative to the removal of my wisdom teeth, and he said no, I would have to get them removed, and relatively quickly if I did not want to have further complications.
I went home and began some research on what wisdom tooth removal would involve, and once I had a better understanding of the process, I felt much better. I also learned that wisdom teeth removal is very common. Many people will have to get their wisdom teeth removed in their lifetime. I did not realize this, but I began talking with my friends and learned that many of them (in fact, almost all) had gotten their wisdom teeth removed. This made me feel even better, because now, on top of the resources available to me on the internet, I could speak with my friends about their personal experiences with wisdom teeth removal. Here are some of the things I learned about wisdom teeth removal from my friends and from doing research of my own on the internet:
- Wisdom teeth removal is very common: As I already mentioned, wisdom teeth removal is very common. In fact, the majority of Americans get their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth often grow in at weird angles, which is the primary reason for removal. Wisdom teeth used to be used much more by our ancestors who ground tougher food with their teeth. Some dentists say the people will simply stop growing wisdom teeth over time through the process of evolution. Interestingly enough, I do have two friends out of my close group who simply never grew their wisdom teeth, so I guess this is a sign that this may be true!
- There are certain things you need to do to prepare for your surgery. Wisdom tooth removal is an outpatient surgery, which means that you are able to go home the next day. I learned that it is important to learn certain things from your surgeon before the surgery to make sure you know how to properly take care of yourself. Some of these things include finding out the number of teeth you are getting removed, as this will affect the healing process. Another important thing to find out about is what kind of anesthesia they will use. Will you be put under general anesthesia, or local anesthesia? This can drastically affect your recovery time directly following the surgery, and also may indicate whether or not you need to arrange for a friend to pick you up and drive you home after your surgery. If you are going to be put under general anesthesia, you will be very groggy and will definitely want some help home and possible a friend around for the first night.
There were also many great tips for after surgery, but I will save those for my next blog post.