Your Best Guide to Wisdom Teeth Removal Process
Dental Health • July 15, 2018
Wisdom teeth, also known as last or third molars, are present on each side of the lower and upper jaws. They are the final teeth to erupt and usually occur when a person is in his teens or early twenties.
Wisdom teeth that emerge partially or erupt crooked can be painful and problematic. For this reason, many people get a wisdom tooth extracted at an early age. It is because the tooth has fewer complications and less developed roots.
So, if you are also experiencing any problem with your wisdom tooth, then you need to undertake the wisdom teeth removal process. The process can be scary but having complete knowledge about it in advance will provide you great mental comfort. Hence, read this post to know everything about the wisdom tooth removal process. (know more)
What is Wisdom Tooth Removal Process?
The process of removing or extracting wisdom tooth is a surgical process to remove one or more wisdom teeth. There are 4 adult teeth located at the back of your mouth on the bottom and top. If your wisdom tooth does not have enough space to grow, then this is known as impacted wisdom tooth. Such a tooth results in pain and in extreme conditions can also cause infection or other dental issues. For such reasons, the process of wisdom tooth extraction is performed.
The wisdom tooth removal process is performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist. Some dentists even suggest wisdom tooth extraction even if the tooth is not causing problems. This is performed as a preventive measure against painful future problems.
Why is Wisdom Teeth Removal Process Performed?
Usually, the process of wisdom teeth removal is performed when there are problems in the wisdom tooth.
These teeth are the last teeth that erupt through gums. Sometimes the tooth can be impacted or stuck below the surface of the gums and starts growing at an odd angle, resulting in complications.
While some people never develop this tooth, there are others that experience a normal eruption of wisdom tooth. But for a few, it can be a big problem. It is because the wisdom tooth does not have enough space to develop and grow normally. In this case, the impacted wisdom tooth erupts partially or not at all.
A wisdom tooth is considered impacted when:
- It grows at an angle towards the second molar, which is the tooth next to it
- It grows at an angle towards the back of the mouth
- It grows at a right angle such that the wisdom tooth is lying down within the jawbone
- It grows straight down or up but gets trapped within the jawbone
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, then you would experience problems like:
- Damage to the nearby tooth
- Damage to the bone
- Occurrence of fluid-filled sac or cyst around the wisdom tooth
- Complications and issues with orthodontic treatments to straighten your teeth
Preparing for Wisdom Tooth Removal Process
Since wisdom teeth removal is a surgical process, so it is always performed at a dental’s clinic as an outpatient process. This implies that after the surgery you can go home the same day.
Before the Process
During the process, your oral surgeon or doctor would use one of three types of anesthesia. The amount of anesthesia given depends on the complexity of the wisdom tooth removal process as well as your comfort level.
The three types of anesthesia that can be offered to you are:
- Local Anesthesia – Your oral surgeon or doctor would give you one or more injections close to the site of wisdom tooth extraction. Before you get the injection, the surgeon will apply a substance to the gums to the numb the region. Under local anesthesia, a person is awake but would feel some movement and pressure on the region.
- General Anesthesia – Under special cases, the doctor would offer general anesthesia. For this, you need to inhale the medication through the nose. This form of anesthesia can make you slightly conscious. During the process, you would not feel any pain. The doctor would then closely monitor your breathing temperature, blood pressure, medications, and fluids before beginning the process.
- Sedation Anesthesia – Your oral surgeon or doctor would offer you sedation anesthesia via an intravenous line in the arms. This anesthesia suppresses the consciousness during the process so that you don’t experience any pain.
During the Process
During the process of wisdom teeth removal, your oral surgeon or dentist would first make an incision in the gums. This would create flaps to expose bone and tooth. After this, the surgeon removes bone that blocks access to the teeth.
As a next step, the tooth is sectioned into parts so that it is easier to remove it in pieces. The tooth is then removed.
After removing the tooth, the site or region is cleansed completely from any debris of the bone or tooth. The dentist would then stitch the wound near the area to promote healing. But this is not always necessary.
Lastly, the dentist places gauze over the extraction region to control bleeding and to ensure that a clot is formed.
After the Process
Under local anesthesia, the recovery time is less. But if you are offered general or sedation anesthesia, then you would be shifted to another room for the rest of the day.
Once you heal from the surgery, you need to follow certain instructions strictly, such as:
- Activity – After completion of surgery, you must take rest for the remaining day. You can resume normal activities the next day, but avoid performing strenuous activities for at least a week.
- Food – You need to eat soft food like applesauce or yogurt for at least 3-4 days. After this, you must eat semisoft foods for at least a week. Avoid consuming chewy, spicy, or hot foods that may irritate the wound.
- Beverages – It is advised to drink lots of water after the surgery. Avoid drinking caffeinated, carbonated, or hot beverages for at least 24 hours.
- Pain Management – Your doctor, would suggest you pain managing medications. Additionally, you can hold a cold pack against the jaw that can help relieve the pain.
- Bleeding – If you experience excessive oozing of blood then consult your dentist immediately.
- Bruising and Swelling – This is a regular part of the process. Bruising and swelling will get correct in just two or three days.
- Cleaning the Mouth – You must avoid cleaning your mouth for at least 24 hours after the surgery.
- Tobacco Intake – Avoid consuming such products for at least a week after the surgery. Using such products can delay healing and also result in further complications.
When to Call Your Dentist?
You must call your oral surgeon or dentist if you experience any of the signs or symptoms that would indicate nerve damage, infection, or a serious complication:
- Swelling that gets worse after three days
- Severe pain that cannot be controlled through medications
- Blood in nose
- Oozing or pus in the region
- Loss of feeling or persistent numbness
Rarely such complications occur after the wisdom teeth removal process. But if complications occur, your oral surgeon or dentist will suggest you an appropriate treatment.