Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom teeth are a set of molars that come in the back of your mouth.  They usually make an appearance between the ages of 17 to 25. Wisdom teeth really don’t serve a purpose, and not everyone develops them, but if you do have them they may start to cause issues for you.   Depending on where your wisdom teeth are situated, they can really create chaos for you and your mouth. The main reasons to have your wisdom teeth removed are if they become impacted, if they come in at a wrong angle, or if your mouth is not big enough to accommodate them.  That is why many dentists recommend their patients have them removed. Because your wisdom teeth serve no purpose, even if they don’t cause problems, you may still be convinced to remove them so they don’t cause problems in the future. If you are apprehensive about having them removed, have no fear, and continue reading.  Below is a description of what to expect when getting your wisdom teeth removed.  

What to Expect When Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out

Usually, your dentist can perform the procedure in the office, however, if your wisdom teeth are impacted and require a more surgical approach, you may have an oral surgeon do the job.  For the most part, wisdom teeth extraction is considered an outpatient procedure, therefore, you can go home the same day. Your dentist will give you instructions to follow before the surgery, like having you bring someone who can drive you home after, and whether or not to fast before the procedure.  You may want to ask any further questions that pertain to your particular case, like if you can take prescription medication before or after the surgery. The dentist will numb the area, and more than likely also offer sedation so you are more comfortable during the extraction. The procedure itself does not take too long.  The dentist makes an incision in your gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone. Then, the bone that covers the tooth root is removed. From here your wisdom teeth are removed. After the site is cleaned, your dentist stitches the wound to promote healing. Gauze is placed over the site to control bleeding and to help your blood clot.  After that, you are taken to a recovery room until the anesthesia wears off, after which you are free to go home, but remember that someone else should drive you.  

Recovery After Surgery

You may have some bleeding directly after the surgery.  Replace the gauze over the extraction site as directed by your dentist to help with this bleeding.  Most can manage pain with over the counter medication like advil or tylenol. Depending on the case, your dentist may prescribe you prescription pain medication.  Your cheeks may experience swelling or bruising. Treat the swelling with an ice pack, and it should go away within a few days. The bruising may take a bit longer.  Plan to rest the day of the surgery, but you can resume normal activities the next day as long as you avoid strenuous activity for a week after the procedure. You want to eat only soft foods for the first 24 hours after the surgery.  Avoid drinking hot beverages for 24 hours, and don’t use a straw after surgery. Don’t brush your teeth, rinse your mouth or spit for 24 hours after. After that, be extremely gentle while brushing your teeth for about a week. If you had stitches that don’t dissolve on their own, you will have to see your dentist to have them removed.  

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