Wisdom tooth removal is one of those things we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. Also known as the third set of molars, wisdom teeth are the last to erupt. They emerge around the ages of 17 to 21, but there is not always enough space on the person's jaw by that time.
It can lead to wisdom teeth becoming impacted, which means they get stuck underneath the gums or grow into adjacent teeth. Wisdom teeth are also more prone to decay due to their location at the back of the mouth. It makes getting plaque and food particles off them a lot more challenging, making them more vulnerable to decay.
What to expect when undergoing wisdom tooth removal
Knowing what to expect when a wisdom tooth is being removed makes the process easier for patients. Prior to the treatment, the dentist will provide the patient with instructions to follow. The dentist will also talk to the patient about any medications they are using and any health issues they have. A general or local anesthetic will be used during the procedure, so patients are advised to arrange for transportation back home
The dentist might discuss sedation with the patient depending on how comfortable they are. Laughing gas, nitrous oxide or sedatives like Halcion can be used to keep patients relaxed during treatments. Those with dental phobias should consider sedatives.
The actual process usually goes like this:
- An anesthetic will be administered to numb the area the tooth will be extracted from
- Depending on the location of the tooth, an incision might be made into the patient's gums so the surgeon can reach the tooth
- If an impacted tooth is covered up with bone tissue, the dentist might use a drill to remove some of it so the tooth can be extracted
- Surgical instruments are then used to loosen up the tooth and remove portions of it. The dentist might decide to cut a tooth up into smaller portions to prevent it from breaking apart when it is being extracted
- The dentist will use instruments like forceps to pull the tooth out. Any incisions made will be stitched up afterward
- The patient will be brought out of sedation and they will be given a piece of gauze to bite down on. This helps to stop any bleeding from the socket
Recovering from wisdom tooth removal
Patients should follow the instructions provided by the dentist after their extraction. Simple things they can do to speed up the recovery process include:
- Not aggravating the socket by brushing or flossing for the first two days after an extraction. A saltwater rinse should be used to clean the mouth after every meal
- Sticking to softer foods and chewing with the other side of the mouth if possible
- Taking any antibiotics prescribed by the dentist
- Not using straws or anything that requires sucking. This can dislodge the clot in the socket leading to dry socket
An extraction is not the end of the world
The idea of having a tooth extracted can be frightening, but there is little to no pain involved. You will be given anesthetics to numb the area, so all you feel is the dentist pulling and pushing on your teeth. In most cases, an extraction brings an end to the pain you are dealing with. Visit our clinic and find out if that is what you need.
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