The removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure that many adults have to undergo. It is a surgical process that removes on, or more, of your wisdom teeth – the four adult teeth that are located in the back corners of your mouth along the bottom and the top. These four teeth are the last four to come in, and usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25.
Many adults find that they don’t have enough room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth, which can result in an impacted wisdom tooth that can cause pain, infections, as well as other dental problems. When this occurs, an extraction is necessary for your health. If you are discussing an extraction with your dentist, or believe that you may need a removal of your wisdom teeth, here is some information to prepare yourself.
What to Expect
For those who are undergoing a wisdom tooth extraction, we provide pain management for the procedure that varies by client. We offer three different types of anesthesia for those who are undergoing wisdom tooth extraction, depending on difficulty of your extraction as well as your personal comfort. These include:
This option includes a localized injection in to the gums to numb them, leaving you awake during the removal of your wisdom tooth. All you will feel during the process is movement and pressure without any pain.
This option provides sedation through an intravenous line through the arm. This will leave you unconscious during the procedure, with little memory of the procedure when you awake. In addition, you will receive a local anesthesia that numbs your gums.
In certain situations, we will offer a general anesthesia for your extraction. During this process you would inhale medication, have an IV, or both. You would be unconscious and closely monitored during the extraction, and will leave you with no memory of the procedure.
After you have received your anesthesia, we will begin the wisdom tooth extraction process. During this process, we will make a small incision along the gum tissue to expose both the tooth and the bone, which we will then begin to remove. We will remove the bone that is blocking access to the root of the tooth then remove the tooth from your mouth. After we have cleaned the site of any debris, we will stitch the would closed and place gauze over the site of the extraction to control bleeding and ensure that a blood clot forms.
In general, a wisdom tooth extraction will take less than two hours from start to finish.
After the Wisdom Tooth Removal
After your procedure is over, you will be placed in the recovery room if you received sedation or general anesthesia. If you have received local anesthesia, you will recover briefly in the dental chair before you are sent home.
Healing from the extraction is usually straight forward. You will receive detailed instructions from our office, and will include information including:
There will be some bleeding during the first day after your extraction. Try to avoid spitting to ensure that the blood clot stays in the socket. Follow the instructions from your dentist regarding replacing the gauze.
Management of Pain
Your dentist will prescribe either over the counter pain medication or prescription pain medication depending on the difficulty of your extraction. In addition, we suggest purchasing a cold pack against your jaw line to relieve any swelling.
Bruising and Swelling
Use a cold pack as direction by our office. Swelling and bruising tends to go down within one week.
Food and Beverages
Avoiding hard food and caffeinated, alcoholic, carbonated, and hot beverages is in your best interest. Do not use a straw for at least one week and only consume soft foods.
Cleansing the Extraction Site – Avoid brushing your teeth for the first 24 hours. After this time has passed, you can resume brushing your teeth very gently. Additionally, wash with a salt rinse every two hours and after you have consumed a meal.
Generally, the process of wisdom tooth removal as well as the recovery process is straightforward and relatively quick. For any questions or concerns, speak directly with your dentist to determine the best route forward regarding your wisdom tooth extraction.