Wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt in the mouth. They usually erupt in the mouth between the ages of 15-25. Quite often, there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the eruption of these teeth & they become mal-aligned. Due to this misalignment, you might experience pain, pressure, infection, and damage to the adjacent molars. These problems can sometimes occur without having any prior signs or symptoms.
Wisdom teeth may be partially erupted, fully erupted, or still located under the gum or bone tissue. The tooth still located under the gum or bone tissue is known as an impacted tooth.
A panoramic radiograph of the jaw is recommended to assess the condition of the wisdom teeth, angulation as well as its proximity to surrounding anatomical structures.
The dentist sometimes recommends the removal of wisdom teeth in a young adult prophylactically, if they think that the risks involved with the removal of wisdom teeth will increase with age.
At the initial consultation, your dentist will explain the procedure, appropriate post-extraction care instructions, risks & possible complications. For a fast & complete recovery, post-extraction care is vital.
Ask the dentist & the staff
- What time do you need to be at the hospital/clinic
- If you should have food before coming in
- If there are any prescription or nonprescription drugs you should avoid before surgery
- If you need to take your prescribed medications before surgery ( If yes, how much time before, as well as the dosage)
At the time of surgery
Depending on the complexity of your case, your dentist might choose Local anesthesia, Sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia.
Most of the time, Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure & the patient can go home right away.
- Your dentist gives you 1 or more injections of local anesthesia, at & near the site of extraction. You will be conscious and awake during the procedure but will not feel any pain, just a slight amount of pressure.
- An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone
- Removal of a part of the surrounding bone is done if it is blocking the access to the tooth root
- The tooth is divided into sections sometimes, making it easier to remove in pieces
- Tooth is extracted
- Cleaning the extraction site of any debris from the tooth or bone
- The wound is closed using sutures sometimes if necessary, to promote healing
- Gauze is placed over the extraction site to control bleeding and for the formation of a blood clot
Pain management and bleeding are main concerns after tooth extraction.
- Prescribed pain reliever medication dosages are given by the dentist.
- Warm salt water rinses, three to four times a day, aids healing.
- Slight oozing of blood for the next 24 hrs after the extraction is normal.
- Patients are instructed to avoid spitting, smoking & using a straw for the next 24 hrs, to prevent dislodging the blood clot from the socket.
- Ice-pack helps with pain management as well as the swelling.
- A soft & cold diet is recommended for the next 24 hrs.
- Avoid hot, sticky food that might irritate or harm the extraction wound.
- If stitches are given, they can resorb in about a week, or if need to be removed, your dentist will schedule an appointment for it.