Wisdom Teeth: Reasons and Process of Removal
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars at the very back row of your mouth. They usually come in around the age of 17 to 25. Almost 5 million patients have their wisdom teeth removed in the U.S. and around 10 million wisdom teeth are removed annually.
Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Removal
There are many reasons why one needs their wisdom teeth removed. Some of these are:
- If wisdom teeth have grown in sideways or are pushing against the second molars or putting strain on the ligaments and muscles of your jaw joint.
- If there isn’t enough room in your mouth for another set of molars.
- If, because of lack of space, the teeth become trapped in your jawbone or gum, causing discomfort or pain.
- If the wisdom teeth have come partly through the gum and have become affected by gum disease or decay.
Tooth Removal Process
The whole process starts with a consultation and assessment either by your general dentist, or with a dental specialist like an oral surgeon if your dentist decides to refer you. The purpose of the consultation is to:
- Determine the complexity of the case,
- Decide what kind of anesthetic to use,
- Discuss any medical conditions that might affect the preparation for the procedure, the procedure itself and the after care needed
- Discuss any potential complications and pre- and post- care instructions
- Answer any questions you might have about any aspect of the procedure
- Provide you with an estimate for the treatment.
Most times, the extractions are performed under intravenous sedation, but general anesthetic or nitrous oxide might also be suggested for certain patients.
The dentist will also numb your mouth by injecting a local anesthetic. It can be expected to wear off after an hour or two.
If the teeth are impacted, that is trapped below the gum, your dentist will need to make an incision into the gum to reach the tooth. Once the teeth are out, he/she will close the wound with stitches, and gauze pads placed in the area to soak up any blood.
After the Removal of Wisdom Tooth
You can expect the following symptoms after the extraction of your wisdom teeth:
- Bleeding: Slight bleeding, redness in the saliva and oozing are commonly experienced up to a week post-surgery. If the bleeding doesn’t decrease after biting down on gauze following the surgery, please call our office.
- Swelling: Swelling around cheeks, mouth, sides of the face and eyes are common following surgery. It’s the body’s normal reaction to the trauma of surgery and it should start to decrease by the third day after surgery.
- Bruising: The cheeks, lips and chin may turn black, purple, blue, green or yellow in the days following the extraction which is caused by blood spreading beneath the tissues.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics are given to help prevent infection. Discontinue in the case of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction.
- Nausea and Vomiting: In case of nausea or/and vomiting following the surgery, don’t take anything by mouth for least an hour including the prescribed medicine. Sipping on tea or ginger ale for a fifteen-minute period will put you back to usual state. The nausea is usually a reaction to the anesthetic wearing off.
- Diet: It is recommended that you maintain a soft diet – pasta, scrambled eggs, jello, ice cream. Avoid using straws to drink liquids as the suction action may result in the bursting of the blood clot in the extraction socket and a painful condition called dry socket. This clot needs to remain in place to help the area heal.
To find out more, call Snellville Family Dental.