Wisdom tooth extraction or removal is one of the most common dental procedures that adults go through. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, grow at the back of the gums during your late teens or your 20’s. By this time, all your permanent teeth have now set in, leaving no room for the wisdom teeth. Because of this, the wisdom teeth will not emerge properly and can grow at an uncomfortable angle.
You should book an appointment with your dentist if your wisdom teeth are causing you any discomfort or severe pain. Not all wisdom teeth need to be necessarily removed so it’s important to have your teeth checked as soon as possible. Your dentist will then decide if your wisdom teeth should be extracted or not.
When are wisdom teeth extracted?
In most cases, wisdom teeth that are not causing any problems do not need to be extracted. Doing so can result to infections and other dental problems. Your wisdom tooth should be removed if it is impacted and causing dental problems, or if it has not properly grown through your gums.
A problematic wisdom tooth that is not extracted in time can lead to further conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
What is the procedure for wisdom tooth extraction?
The procedure of wisdom tooth extraction begins with the administering of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia administered will depend on the complexity of the procedure as well as your pain level. Local anesthesia numbs the affected area so that you feel pressure but not pain. You also stay conscious throughout the procedure.
On the other hand, general anesthesia may be used if you are having several wisdom teeth removed in one procedure. This anesthesia will affect your entire body and cause you to be unconscious or asleep throughout the extraction.
The dentist will then make an incision in the gum in order to expose the tooth and bone. Any bone that is covering the tooth will need to be removed. In some cases, the dentist will cut the tooth into pieces so it is easier to extract. Once the wisdom tooth has been extracted, the site will be cleaned by removing any bone or tooth debris. A gauze is applied over the site to stop bleeding.
What do you need to do after wisdom tooth extraction?
After the procedure, there are some steps you need to take in order to facilitate healing and recovery.
- Continue to bite on the gauze to apply pressure and stop bleeding on the site
- Replace the gauze with a fresh one when it is soaked with blood
- Put a pillow under your head when lying down to discourage bleeding
- Avoid any physical activity, smoking and hard foods for at least 24 hours after the procedure
- Do not poke the affected area with your tongue
- Apply an ice pack on your cheek to relieve pain and swelling
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with warm salt water
Contact us today to learn more about wisdom tooth extraction or book an appointment with one of our dentists.