Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Get Well Soon
Helping you make a speedy recovery after removal of wisdom teeth
Who this leaflet is for
This leaflet is for anyone who is recovering from, or is about to undergo, surgery to remove one or more wisdom teeth. It should be read in conjunction with any other information you have been given about your procedure.
You may need to have your wisdom teeth out if you have been experiencing repeated attacks of infection in the gums surrounding those teeth or other problems (specific guidelines are available from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence).
The technical term for your operation is surgical removal of mandibular and/or maxillary third molars, which is how your surgeon and other health professionals who are helping you may refer to it.
Obviously, every individual has different needs and recovers in different ways – so not all of the advice in this leaflet will be suitable for everybody. When you are weighing up how to make the decisions that are right for you, talk with your occupational health service at work, if you have one, otherwise, speak with your dental surgeon. Either will help you make the right choices for a safe and speedy recovery.
Wisdom teeth are generally removed on a day-case basis, so you should usually be able to go home on the same day. Your surgery may take place under local anaesthetic (an injection similar to that used for dental fillings), which will permit a simple appointment that you can attend alone.
If the surgery is more difficult, and/or you are anxious, you may be prescribed conscious sedation using a sedative drug that will relax you and prevent you from remembering the surgery. Alternatively, if you have several difficult teeth to remove, the surgeon may prescribe a day-stay general anaesthetic. These last two techniques require that you attend your appointment with an escort who should oversee your recovery for the following 48 hours. In these cases, you should avoid looking after children or dependants, driving or using machinery, and reviewing or signing legal documents, for 48 hours.
The advice in this leaflet offers broad guidelines for people who do not have any complications with their surgery or other specific medical circumstances, such as a relevant long-term condition. It is designed to help you make decisions about your recovery. Your surgeon, general practitioner (GP), and other healthcare professionals will offer you advice – but ultimately, it’s you that has to make the decisions.
This leaflet is a guide to recovering from an operation to remove one or more wisdom teeth. It does not provide specific medical advice or diagnosis nor does it give advice about whether you should consent to an operation. All of these matters depend on individual medical advice from your consultant surgeon based on your own health, medical condition and personal circumstances.
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