Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Just as the appendix or tonsils are among the organs people often need to have removed, removing wisdom teeth is often an absolute necessity. Just as you can live a perfectly heathy life without your appendix, you can also do just fine without your wisdom teeth.
But why are wisdom teeth so problematic, and what should you expect from wisdom tooth extraction?
Common Problems with Wisdom Teeth
Nobody goes for tooth extraction for fun! Most people who need to have their wisdom teeth removed are already experiencing considerable discomfort. Why does this happen?
- The wisdom teeth are the very last teeth to erupt, and sometimes, there just isn’t enough space for them.
- Quite often, they don’t erupt normally at all, becoming stuck in your jawbone or gums (impacted). Needless to say, that hurts!
- Sometimes, the wisdom teeth erupt, but come out at an odd angle. They press against other teeth and can ultimately push them out of proper alignment.
- Finally, brushing and flossing wisdom teeth isn’t easy, especially for those who have a strong gag reflex. So, even if all’s well when they first appear, wisdom teeth can be very prone to cavities.
Anaesthesia Options for Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Your dentist will recommend one of the following types of anaesthesia.
Local anaesthetic is the run-of-the-mill numbing of the area that you get when you have dental work done. Your dentist will recommend this type of anaesthesia if he or she expects the extraction to be an easy one.
IV Sedation combined with local anaesthetic makes you drowsy. You may not remember the procedure, and you may even fall asleep. This is the middle-road option.
General Anaesthetic is a full knock-out. Dentists recommend it when the procedure may be difficult.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
If the tooth is well above the gumline, it can be extracted in the conventional way, but if it’s impacted or hard to reach, the dentist will need to make incisions in your gums to reach the teeth.
When we must make an incision to get at the offending tooth or teeth, we stitch it closed with a special material that dissolves within a few days.
If you will have general anaesthesia or sedation, have a friend or family member drive you home or get a taxi. You will not be in a good condition for driving. During the first three days, your gums will hurt, and you may see some swelling. For full healing, you need a couple of weeks.
- If you have swelling, you can use an ice pack. It’s also a great excuse to eat ice-cream!
- If you feel an aching sensation in your jaw, use a hot, damp cloth to soothe it.
- Eat soft foods for a few days.
- Start brushing your teeth one day after the procedure but be very careful not to dislodge the blood clots that are helping your gums to heal.
- Avid sucking sweets or drinking through a straw. It may dislodge the blood clots.
- If you rinse your mouth out, do so very gently. Lukewarm, salty water is a good mouthwash while you are healing. If you want to use anything else, check with your dentist.
- Avoid smoking since it will slow the healing process.
Need More Advice on Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
As dental procedures go, having your wisdom teeth out is a big step. But going through with it will save you a lot of discomfort. If we’ve recommended that you have your wisdom teeth out and you have any concerns or questions, simply get in touch. Our helpful staff and professional dentists will be happy to give you sound advice.