Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure many people experience at some point in their lives. For some, the thought of having surgery can be daunting. This is perfectly understandable. However, you can do a few things to ease your anxiety and make the experience as smooth as possible.
First, selecting a qualified oral surgeon with experience performing wisdom teeth removal is important. Once you’ve found a surgeon you feel comfortable with, make sure to ask any questions you may have about the procedure. Having a friend or family member accompany you on the day of surgery is also a good idea, as they can offer support and assistance.
On the day of your procedure, follow all pre-operative instructions given to you by your surgeon. This may include fasting for a certain period before surgery and avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol. Once your surgery is complete, it’s important to rest and recover as directed by your oral surgeon. This will help ensure a successful outcome and reduce the risk of complications.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the molars (back teeth) that usually come through in early adulthood – they’re the ones at the very back of your mouth. For most people, wisdom teeth don’t cause problems and can be left alone. But for some people, the wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they don’t have enough room to come through or grow at an angle. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause many problems, from overcrowding and poor oral hygiene to pain, infection, and tooth decay.
Why are they removed?
The most common reason for wisdom tooth removal is that they are impacted, meaning they are stuck and cannot come in (erupt). They may be stuck in the gums (partially impacted) or growing at an angle toward the back of the mouth and pushing on the molars in front of them (fully impacted). Impacted teeth can cause crowding, infection, or damage to nearby teeth. They can also trap food and plaque, leading to cavities or gum disease.
Impacted teeth that are not removed can cause serious problems later on. They may become infected; if the infection is not treated, it can spread to other body parts. In rare cases, this can lead to life-threatening complications.
The removal process
The removal process for wisdom teeth is similar to that of any other tooth. After the area is numbed, the dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone. Once the tooth is removed, the area will be sutured closed. In some cases, the tooth may need to be removed in sections.
After your wisdom teeth have been removed, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for care. This will help ensure that your mouth heals properly and that you do not develop complications.
After your wisdom teeth are removed, your mouth will feel sore, and you may have some bleeding. To help with the pain, your dentist may prescribe pain medicine and tell you how to use it. In most cases, over-the-counter pain medicines work well. You can also put ice on your face for 20 minutes to help with the swelling.
You should be able to go home after the surgery. But if you had many teeth removed or other medical problems, you may stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 days.
Your gums will heal within a few weeks. But it may take several months for the holes in your gums to close completely.
You will probably have stitches (sutures) in your gums that dissolve on their own within 7 to 10 days. This help close the holes where your wisdom teeth were removed.
If you have stitches that do not dissolve, you will need to return them to your dentist so they can remove them.
Follow these tips as you heal:
• Be sure to brush and floss all your other teeth thoroughly but gently while your gums heal. This will help prevent cavities and keep your mouth healthy.
• Eat soft foods while your mouth is healing. Cut food into small pieces and chew slowly and carefully. You may want to eat cool or at room temperature because hot foods can cause pain in healing gums. Avoid eating hard, crunchy, chewy, or sticky foods until your gums have healed completely—usually 3 to 4 weeks after surgery for most people, but it could take longer for some people—and avoid using straws during this time as well since suction can cause bleeding in surgical areas which can slow healing down significantly. Alcoholic beverages, smoking, and tobacco products can also delay healing and increase the risk of developing a dry socket (a painful condition where the blood clot that forms in the tooth socket after surgery becomes loose or dissolves). So it’s best to avoid these things while you’re healing.
The decision to have your wisdom teeth removed is a personal one. Some people never have any problems with their wisdom teeth, and others find them a constant source of pain and discomfort. If you are considering having your wisdom teeth removed, talk to your dentist about your options and what you can expect during and after the procedure.