For many people, the eruption of wisdom teeth is a rite of passage into adulthood. However, there may be instances wherein wisdom tooth extraction is needed.
For one, your mouth may not have adequate space to accommodate your wisdom teeth. Keeping these molars can result in impaction, which means these teeth cannot erupt from the gums. Impaction, in turn, can lead to a host of other problems, including cysts and bone damage.
If the wisdom teeth break through the gums, this may cause the creation of flaps in the gums. In turn, these flaps can trap food debris and bacteria, which may then lead to infections.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth erupt at an awkward angle that can cause damage to the adjacent teeth.
Many people do not experience any symptoms that may be attributed to a troublesome wisdom tooth. However, the absence of any sign does not necessarily indicate the lack of a problem.
So should you consider having your wisdom tooth removed if you are not currently experiencing any issues with it? Here are a few crucial points to think about.
Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure. That means that you can go home once the anesthetic has worn off.
It is advisable to have someone – a family member or friend – to drive you to and from the clinic.
Prior to surgery, your dentist will give you a list of things you will need to do or avoid. Some patients may need to go on a fast before the procedure. Your dentist will inform you how long you will need to do so.
You may also need to temporarily go off certain medications. Some medications can thin the blood and hamper the healing process. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers before the actual surgery.
Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, contact lenses, and jewelry when you go to the clinic.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a quick procedure, often lasting less than 45 minutes.
Before your scheduled extraction, your dentist will provide you with an overview of the procedure and explain the benefits and risks. Take this as an opportunity to ask the questions lingering in your mind and to make the necessary plans and arrangements at work and at home.
On the day of your surgery, anesthesia will be administered – local, IV sedation, or general.
Once the anesthetic is in effect, your dentist will make an incision on your gums or bone to remove the wisdom tooth. He will then stitch the area and place gauze pads to contain the bleeding.
The recovery period from a wisdom tooth extraction is relatively short. On the day of your surgery, you will be asked to get some rest. You can resume your normal activities the next day, but you will need to avoid strenuous tasks for a full week.
Immediately after the procedure, you will have to stay in the clinic until the anesthesia has worn off. Depending on the anesthetic used, you may need to have someone to accompany you and drive you home.
Your dentist will prescribe you with medications for pain relief. Many patients have reported that they have experienced little to no pain after the surgery. However, it is not unusual to experience swelling and some discomfort in the affected area.
To facilitate faster healing and avoid complications, here are a few helpful tips:
Oral surgeons are specialized dentists helping with concerns ranging from wisdom and impacted teeth to bone loss and jaw misalignment.
Dr. Roy Thomas is our Specialist Oral Surgeon with over 25 years of clinical experience. Dr. Roy’s expertise lies in oral surgical procedures like cysts, complicated extractions and removal of impacted wisdom teeth.
Need to know more about wisdom tooth extraction? Schedule a complimentary consultation.