How Does Wisdom Tooth Extraction Work?
Why You Might Need to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:
- Lack of space in the jaw; your mouth is not big enough for an extra set of molars
- The come at an angle which disturbs/damages the neighbouring teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)
Your dentist may also recommend removal of wisdom teeth as part of treatment for braces or other dental care.
Before making any decisions, your dentist will examine your mouth and take an x-ray. They will talk to you about the health problems you have, and they will present a list of drugs for you to take on a regular basis. A complete medical history must be presented to your oral surgeon/dentist.
Your dentist will recommend what type of anaesthesia is right for your extraction. It can be local anaesthesia that targets the area of surgery, or general anaesthesia where in you we sleep during the surgery. Together, you and your dentist can discuss the best course of treatment.
You should also plan ahead to take time off from school or work to rest after the surgery.
Surgery takes around 60 minutes or less depending on the tooth placement.
You can either expect to get a:
- Local anaesthesia
- General anaesthesia
- IV sedation
The doctor may cut your gums and drill through your bone depending on the severity of the angulation of the tooth. Once the tooth is out, a firm pressure with medicine onto a gauze piece or cotton is applied followed by stitches, if required, are given. The stitches, also called sutures, given can be resorbable or non-resorbable.
You are likely to feel a little discomfort for about 3 to 4 days. Each patients responds differently to a wisdom tooth surgery. With an antibiotic coverage, there is usually no pain afterwards. The doctor will explain to you the do’s and don’ts after surgery.
- The prescribed medicines should be taken on time.
- If non-resorbable sutures were given, you must see the doctor after a week to remove them.
- Warm saline gargles are a must at least twice a day for 3 days to keep the area sterile.
- Use a cold pack or ice cubes extra orally to reduce the swelling post extraction.
- Similarly, an ice cream or milkshake is advised on the same day to help heal faster. Nutty ice cream is not advisable here.
- Eat soft food like rice or pasta.
- Don’t brush too hard as it may disrupt the sutures and cause pain.
- See your doctor or talk over the phone to keep in check about your recovery.
- Don’t gargle or brush too hard.
- Eating crunchy hard or sticky food may scratch the wound and cause pain.
- Do not drink through a straw. Sucking may cause the blood clots to loosen up.
- Do not smoke. Smoking may cause delay in healing of the wound.