Although it is a common outpatient surgery, wisdom teeth removal is still surgery, and it’s important for a patient to properly prepare before wisdom teeth surgery. All patients undergoing wisdom teeth removal should follow their doctor’s instructions with attention to every detail, starting with the initial consultation.
Typically, patients undergoing removal of impacted wisdom teeth may have been referred by a physician or a dentist. If X-rays have been taken, they should be forwarded to the OMS. The OMS will go over the current state of the patient’s wisdom teeth and what, if any, treatment is needed and whether or not surgery is recommended.
It’s important to bring to the consultation something to take notes with and to ask any questions about maintaining wisdom teeth and having them removed. This is the time to speak directly with the surgeon, share any concerns and ask specific questions about what to do in the days before surgery. Patients typically leave their OMS’s office with detailed instructions for before and after surgery. Discuss financial arrangements (including payment and insurance) with the OMS office before surgery.
The Days before Surgery
Depending on how far out the surgery date is from the consultation, patients might simply go about their normal life for a few days or weeks before surgery. If the OMS has prescribed any medications or provided a list of foods to eat after surgery, now is the time to make a visit to the grocery store. Having soft foods on-hand can make recovery more seamless.
This also is a good time for patients to schedule any necessary time off work or school and let friends and family know they will be in recovery for a few days. Patients also should arrange for someone who can drive them home after the surgery.
The Day of Surgery
A patient’s pre-op instructions may depend on the type of anesthesia used, and the doctor’s orders should always be followed. Typically, patients should:
- Strictly follow your OMS’s instructions about eating or drinking before surgery if undergoing IV sedation or general anesthesia.
- Avoid tobacco or alcohol for at least eight hours before surgery.
- Brush teeth before the appointment.
- Confirm a responsible adult will be able to drive home.
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
Learn More from an OMS
Questions about wisdom teeth removal and preparation for surgery should be answered directly by a patient’s oral and maxillofacial surgeon – find a nearby OMS.