5 Reasons To Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed Before Volunteering Abroad

Many volunteer organizations with international placements demand a medical and dental checkup before you can depart. This is usually because the organization assumes financial responsibility for your health while you are abroad. While some organizations require you to have your wisdom teeth examined before departure, to determine whether you will be at risk for an emergency removal while you are abroad, others do not require such detailed examinations. No matter what your volunteer organization requires, if you are departing for a long-term volunteer project outside of the United States and you have not had your wisdom teeth removed, you should consult your dentist about an extraction. 

Skip the Emergency Extraction 

Many people do not have their wisdom teeth removed until they cause problems such as shifting the teeth in front, erupting from the gums, or growing into the bones of the jaw. Scheduling an emergency procedure can be stressful while you are in a foreign country, so you may want to schedule the procedure on your own terms as opposed to waiting for signs of a problem. 

If you are in your late teens or early twenties, and your wisdom teeth may cause you future problems, it may be easier for your dentist to remove your wisdom teeth before they are fully formed. 

Complete Your Recovery Before You Depart

While the majority of recovery from oral surgery only takes a couple of days, it can take several more days for bruising to subside, your stitches to be removed, and you to return to a normal diet. While you are recovering, you may want to rest and you will be required to avoid strenuous activities. If you are spending a limited amount of time abroad, you will want to make the most of your days. It is better to complete your recovery before you begin your volunteer project so you can dedicate your time and attention to your work abroad as opposed to healing. 

Additionally, if there are complications during your healing, your home dentist may be better equipped to deal with them than a foreign dentist.  

Have the Moral Support of Your Loved Ones

For many people, wisdom tooth extraction can be intimidating, especially if you have a complicated extraction that requires full anesthesia or a hospital environment. You may feel better if you decide to complete the procedure in a place you are familiar with, where you can be close to your loved ones. Friends and family can give you moral support before your extraction and can assist in your recovery by driving you home, preparing soft, easy-to-eat foods, and spending time with you. 

Communicate Better With Your Dental Team

Even if the doctors and dentists you will be working with in a foreign country speak English, you may have an easier time communicating with American dentists. You will be more likely to understand the American terms for various drugs and procedures, which may help put your mind at ease and make the procedure run as smoothly as possible. 

You May Decide to Stay Abroad

You may think that you will volunteer abroad for a year or two and then return to the U.S. to deal with your wisdom teeth. However, there is a chance that you will find other international opportunities while you are abroad that may keep you away from the United States longer than you expected. Making sure your wisdom teeth are removed before you leave keeps you free to pursue the things you love without worrying about returning for a future extraction. 

Not everyone will need their wisdom teeth extracted, and there is a chance that you will not have any problems while you are abroad. However, it is a good idea to consult your dentist before you leave and see if a non-emergency extraction is best for you. 

For more information, talk to an experienced dentist like Dale D. Lentz DDS