Are you dreading your wisdom tooth extraction? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! This complete guide will walk you through the entire process, step by step. From finding the right dentist to preparing for your surgery, we’ve got you covered.
During your lifetime, you will develop 32 adult teeth. These teeth include your8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars. All of your back teeth (molars) have large, flat surfaces that are great for grinding and crushing food. However, because your mouth is not typically large enough to accommodate all 32 teeth at once. Your 4 wisdom teeth (2 on top and 2 on bottom) may not have enough room to erupt and grow in properly.
If any of your wisdom teeth do not have enough space to erupt and grow in properly, they are said to be “impacted.” When this happens, the tooth can grow in sideways, partially emerge from the gum line, or become trapped beneath the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a number of problems. Because they are difficult to clean and more likely to develop cavities or become infected. For these reasons, many people elect to have their impacted wisdom teeth removed by a dentist or oral surgeon.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the four permanent adult teeth located at the back corners of your mouth on top and bottom. They usually erupt (enter into the mouth) in your late teens or early twenties. They are your third molars, after your regular molars.
Why wisdom teeth need to be extracted?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop in the mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties. For some people, wisdom teeth come in without causing any problems. But for others, wisdom teeth can be troublesome.
Wisdom teeth that are coming in (impacted wisdom teeth) can cause pain, swelling and infection. They can also crowd or damage adjacent teeth, and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. That’s why many people have their wisdom teeth extracted (removed) by a dentist or oral surgeon.
When is the best time to get wisdom teeth extracted?
Most people have their wisdom teeth extracted in their late teens or early twenties. But there is no definitive answer as to when the best time is. In general, it is best to have them removed before they cause problems, such as crowding other teeth, or becoming impacted (stuck under the gum line). If you wait too long, wisdom teeth can become more difficult and dangerous to remove.
How is wisdom tooth extraction performed?
Wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively simple procedure that can be performed in your dentist’s office. First, your dentist will numb the area around your wisdom teeth with a local anesthetic. This will help to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure.
Next, your dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue overlying your wisdom teeth. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove some bone in order to access the wisdom teeth. Once your wisdom teeth are exposed, your dentist will loosen them from the surrounding bone and tissue and then remove them.
After your wisdom teeth have been removed, your dentist will close the incisions with sutures (stitches). You may experience some swelling and discomfort after the procedure. But this can be alleviated with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication.
What are the risks and complications associated with wisdom tooth extraction?
There are multiple risks and complications associated with wisdom tooth extractions which include:
- Damage to nearby teeth: The surgery to remove wisdom teeth often requires drilling, and this can put the nearby teeth at risk for damage.
- Infection: Any time you have surgery, there’s a risk for infection. Signs of an infection after wisdom tooth extraction can include fever, pain that doesn’t go away, and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
- Dry socket: This is a complication that can happen when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site gets dislodged. Dry socket can lead to pain and discomfort.
- Nerve damage: In very rare cases, wisdom tooth removal can damage the nerves near the extraction site. This can lead to numbness or tingling in your teeth, lips, or chin.
What can I expect after wisdom tooth extraction?
After having your wisdom teeth removed, it is important to follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for a successful and speedy recovery.
You will likely experience swelling and some discomfort after the procedure. Your dentist will give you a list of do’s and don’ts to help minimize these symptoms. For example, they may recommend that you ice your face for fifteen minutes every hour or sleep with your head elevated on two or three pillows.
It is normal to see some blood in your saliva immediately after the procedure. Once the blood has clotted, you should not see any more. If you do, call your dentist. They may need to prescribe a medication to control the bleeding.
You should also avoid drinking through a straw, spitting, or tobacco use for at least 24 hours as these can dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.
Most people feel well enough to return to their regular activities within a day or two after having their wisdom teeth removed. However, it is important to take it easy for the first few days and avoid strenuous activity or exercise.
How can I care for my mouth after wisdom tooth extraction?
After having your wisdom teeth removed, it’s important to take care of your mouth so you can heal properly. Here are some things you can do:
- Rest your mouth: Avoid strenuous activity for the first 24 hours. This will help prevent bleeding and swelling.
- Apply ice to your face: Put ice on your cheek near the extraction site for 15 minutes at a time. Do this every few hours for the first day or two.
- Eat soft foods: Stick to soft foods like soup, yogurt, and mashed potatoes for a few days. Avoid chewing hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could irritate your extraction site. Also pineapple juice is best for wisdom teeth pain. Read to know about pineapple juice wisdom teeth. Does it really helpful?
- Take painkillers as needed: Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen can help with pain and swelling. Follow the instructions on the package carefully and don’t take more than directed.
- Keep your mouth clean: Brush your teeth gently, being careful not to irritate the extraction site.