You may consider a wisdom teeth removal procedure if you’ve been having pain and difficulty with your wisdom teeth. You may also feel anxious about the procedure, especially if you don’t know what you are signing yourself into. Still, with some preparation and knowledge, your procedure should be a smooth sailing experience.
This guide will provide a step-by-step approach to preparing for your wisdom teeth removal surgery. You will learn what to expect regarding preparation, the procedure, and the post-operative tooth extraction care needed for a successful outcome. With the right information, you can be informed, prepared, and comfortable going into your appointment.
Your oral surgeon will lay out all the options, and you will gain valuable insight into the entire wisdom tooth extraction process from start to finish and the steps needed for the desired possible outcome. After reading this guide, you will be confident in your decision and be better prepared for your wisdom tooth removal procedure.
Summary of the Content
- A wisdom tooth extraction procedure is one of the most common dental procedures, and you will first receive an anaesthetic, so you will not feel severe pain when removing wisdom teeth.
- Your dental surgeon will give aftercare instructions to help you recover quickly.
- You may experience some discomfort, swelling and bleeding hours after surgery, but these side effects will soon subside, and prescription pain medication can help.
- Wisdom teeth may need to be extracted if they are impacted, infected or have poor positioning.
- You will receive an anaesthetic during the wisdom tooth extraction, and the dentist will use the appropriate dental instruments.
- Most people usually recover fully within a few days and can resume normal activities soon after.
- In some cases, an alternative to wisdom tooth extraction, like prescription pain medication to reduce discomfort and swelling, may be considered.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last molars that usually come in at the back of the mouth, usually in your late teens or early twenties. They are so named because they come at a time when you are gaining wisdom and maturity. It’s not uncommon for your wisdom teeth to be impacted, which means they don’t come through the gum line and crowd your other teeth, leading to pain and discomfort. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, your dentist may need to extract them.
An oral surgeon in a hospital or dental clinic usually does wisdom tooth extraction. It involves a general anaesthetic to make you comfortable and prevent anxious feelings throughout the procedure. Your dentist must make small incisions in your gum tissue to extract the teeth.
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your wisdom teeth, visiting your dentist immediately is important. Your dentist can assess your situation and determine your dental treatment. Sometimes, your dentist may recommend dental surgery or wisdom teeth extraction to alleviate your symptoms.
No matter your situation, it’s important that you’re getting the right orthodontic treatment for your wisdom teeth. Your dentist can advise you on the proper course of action for your case to maintain good oral health.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted?
Removing wisdom teeth can be a necessary part of maintaining good oral health. When the wisdom teeth erupt, they can sometimes become trapped beneath the gum line or appear at an awkward angle. This can cause crowding in the mouth, which can cause acute pain and other potential damage. Crowding can also affect the alignment of other teeth and create potential issues with the bite. Also, an impacted wisdom tooth can result in cysts, swelling, and other infections.
Wisdom teeth can also make it difficult to clean the back of the mouth. Allowing food particles, bacteria, and plaque to accumulate can put you at risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems. Removing wisdom teeth can prevent potential problems like these.
Preparing for Wisdom Tooth Extraction
During your consultation, your dentist will assess your teeth and mouth to determine which teeth, if any, need to be extracted, and may also take dental x-rays to understand better what is happening.
You can expect some pressure and vibration from the extraction tools during the surgical procedure. Most dentists use a local anaesthetic to numb the affected area before beginning the surgery. For more comfort during the procedure, your dentist may also offer other types of anaesthesia, such as sedation, nitrous oxide, or general anaesthesia.
Before oral surgery, it’s important to discuss the types of sedation with your dentist and follow their detailed instructions. Also, eating or drinking anything before the procedure is not recommended as it may interfere with the effectiveness of the anaesthesia.
The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Process
Going to the dentist can be a scary experience, especially when wisdom teeth extraction is involved. The wisdom teeth surgery starts with local anaesthesia, continues with sedation, and ends with the extraction procedure.
Local anaesthesia is the first step of the wisdom tooth extraction procedure. This helps to numb the area around the cheek, jaw, and gums for a pleasant extraction process. Your dentist will numb your mouth before beginning the second step, sedation.
Sedation is given to help you relax and remain comfortable during the wisdom teeth removal procedure. It helps to minimise any sensations felt during the extraction.
The final step is the wisdom teeth extraction procedure. This is the actual removal of the wisdom teeth. Your dentist will use special tools to loosen and extract the teeth carefully. After tooth extraction, your dentist may place a few stitches to help your gums heal.
Recovery and Aftercare
After a wisdom tooth extraction, taking steps to recover is important. While the extraction process is relatively straightforward, it is essential to follow wisdom teeth removal recovery care instructions closely to promote healing and prevent infection or risk of damage to oral health. Pain management and tooth extraction care are key to a successful recovery.
Generally speaking, patients must limit any physical activity for the first twenty-four hours after the procedure and keep the area clean. This may involve using warm salt water to rinse the mouth several times daily. Cool, soft foods and lots of water can also help to promote healing and reduce discomfort.
Your dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications if pain or swelling persists. Applying ice to the impacted area can also offer relief. Patients may experience some swelling for up to a week, which can be managed by sleeping with the head elevated and avoiding strenuous activities.
Furthermore, it is important to avoid tobacco products, alcoholic beverages and hot liquids for at least 24 hours, as these can increase the risk of infection. At the same time, brushing teeth and flossing should be avoided in the area for at least one week.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Recovering from wisdom teeth extraction can feel like a long process, but it doesn’t have to be. Giving your body the time and resources to recover properly is important. Generally, the extraction site can take up to two weeks to fully heal, although most people feel more comfortable with proper tooth extraction care within a few days.
When Can I Resume My Normal Activities?
Take it easy for the first two days after surgery. As your incision heals, you may gradually resume your normal daily activities. Listening to your body and taking frequent breaks if needed are important. It is also important to avoid activities that may cause strain on the extraction site, such as intense exercise and contact sports.
Most people can return to normal activities within a week or two of their wisdom tooth extraction. During this recovery period, keeping your mouth clean and maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for fast recovery from wisdom teeth extraction. Brushing and flossing gently around the extraction site and rinsing with a warm salt water compound are essential steps to help promote proper healing.
Tips for A Faster Recovery
- Take prescribed pain medications.
Over-the-counter pain medication help reduce pain, swelling, and complications of wisdom tooth extraction.
- Get plenty of rest.
Resting helps the body recover from wisdom tooth surgery’s physical and mental stress. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night for quicker healing.
- Stay hydrated.
It is important to keep the body hydrated during recovery. Drink plenty of water as it helps flush away toxins and nourish the body.
- Avoid crunchy, solid foods.
After oral surgery, it is important to avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods that may cause further trauma to the mouth. Stick with soft and protein-rich foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and oatmeal.
- Use ice packs.
Applying an ice pack can reduce swelling and jaw pain. The ice pack should be applied in 20-minute intervals throughout the day.
- Use salt water rinses.
Rinsing the mouth with salt water will help flush away food particles and reduce inflammation. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water and swish for about 30 seconds every few hours.
Complications and Risks
When it comes to dental procedures, complications and risks associated with those procedures are always a concern. Wisdom teeth removal complications may occur during dental procedures, often involving infections, bleeding, swelling, nerve damage, and pain. During certain procedures, such as root canal treatment, there may be more risk of infection due to the introduction of bacteria deep into the root canal.
Signs of Infection
It is important to be aware of the signs of infection after having a wisdom tooth extraction. If you do not pay attention to these signs and don’t take proper care of your mouth, you could end up with an infection and more serious health risks.
First and foremost, should you experience any of the following, it’s important to contact your dentist immediately: high fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. These can all be symptoms of a serious infection and should be taken seriously.
You should also be looking for signs of infection in the area where the extraction occurred. For example, if you notice redness or swelling that is getting worse rather than better, it could be a sign that something is wrong. You should also watch for excessive bleeding, pain, foul smell, or bad taste from the extraction site.
Finally, it’s a good idea to be aware of the signs of a dry socket. You must get to your dentist immediately if you have any of these symptoms.
How to Reduce the Risk of Complications
- Follow pre-and post-operative instructions:
Your dentist will provide care instructions to reduce the risk of complications. These instructions might include taking antibiotics, avoiding certain medications, not smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating certain foods.
- Eat soft foods for the first few days:
Sticking soft foods for the first two days is important. This will help to allow your gums to heal properly without further irritation.
- Follow a good oral hygiene regimen:
A good oral hygiene routine reduces the risk of complications and infections. Always brush and floss daily, and use a warm salt water rinse after removing any gauze or stitches.
- Stay hydrated:
Staying hydrated is essential for reducing the risk of complications after any dental procedure, including wisdom teeth removal. It is important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help your body to heal itself naturally.
What Are the Alternatives to Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
- Dental bonding –
Dental bonding is an affordable and non-invasive alternative to wisdom teeth extraction. It involves using a composite material bonded to the teeth to make them look and feel like natural teeth. This procedure is often used to fill in gaps between teeth and can also create a more uniform appearance of the teeth.
- Retention splint –
A retention splint is a device placed on the side of the teeth to help keep them in place. This can reduce the need for extraction of wisdom teeth and can also be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Primary tooth extraction –
In some cases, the primary tooth may need to be extracted first to make room for the emerging wisdom teeth. This is a less invasive alternative to wisdom tooth extraction and can reduce the risk of complications associated with wisdom teeth.
- Coronectomy –
A coronectomy is an alternative to wisdom tooth extraction that eliminates the tooth’s crown while leaving the root in place. This prevents damage to adjacent or nearby soft tissue or nerves.
It is important to remember that wisdom tooth removal is a common yet delicate procedure and should not be taken lightly. Knowing what to expect during your wisdom tooth removal procedure is an integral part of the process and should help you remain calm, aware, and comfortable throughout the experience. Your dentist is here to help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. With the right preparations, information, and care, you can have a successful wisdom tooth removal procedure and return to your usual self quickly.
If you’re looking for a dental clinic experienced with wisdom teeth removal procedures and providing a smooth sailing process, look no further than Byford Smiles. Our friendly team of dental professionals will answer any questions and provide you with a personalised treatment plan for your wisdom teeth surgery, giving you the confidence that you’ll have a successful wisdom teeth extraction experience. Contact us today to get started on your journey to a healthier smile!