How should I prepare myself before a wisdom tooth extraction?
Both of my bottom wisdom tooth are impacted, and the gum on my right side started becoming sore and swollen a few days ago. I was told before that I would have to take a couple of medications before proceeding with the surgery but I'm not sure if that still applies. What do I need to do or prepare for before having my wisdom teeth extracted?
From your brief description it sounds as though you have a bout of pericoronitis ( an infection of the gum around the impacted and partially erupted wisdom tooth, resulting in pain , discomfort and swelling in the area)
If it is indeed true that you have Pericoronitis, I would do the following in preparation for surgical extraction of your impacted wisdom tooth):
1. Treat the infected area under a local anaesthesia with deep scaling and irrigation, and i would also at this stage find out if you have any relevant medical history that might be of a concern ( for eg, being on blood thinning medication, uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure, undergoing chemotherapy etc )
2. Prescribe a weeks worth of antibiotics, anti-swelling medication, painkillers , an antiseptic mouthrinse and lastly an oral probiotic.
3. After a week of medication and meticulous home oral hygiene, check that the pericoronitis has resolved.
4. Do a general scale and polish so that your entire mouth is clean and ready for surgery.
5. Discuss with you whether or not you would like to consider doing IV sedation.
6. If yes, you would need to fast for 8 hours prior to the surgery.
7. If no, you would be ready to go for the wisdom tooth surgery under local anaesthesia.
So from the 7 steps above, all you need to do is to make sure you take your medication religiously as prescribed and to be meticulous in your oral hygiene to ensure that the infection is resolved prior to the surgery. If you choose to be sedated, then you would have to fast for 8 hours prior to the surgery.
Also please tell your dentist any relevant medical or dental history that might be useful for him to know. I hope you find my answer useful and i wish you a speedy recovery!
Dr Gerald Tan