For those who don’t know, wisdom teeth are the last to appear and form at the back of the mouth, usually in the early twenties. As wisdom teeth are coming through, the surrounding gum sometimes becomes inflamed and sore. This is called ‘pericoronitis’ and may settle down or come and go. As most people know, wisdom teeth can be a nuisance. We all hope we will never get them and have them removed. However, this is not the case as for many people wisdom tooth extraction is the only option. Reasons for getting them removed include:
If you are one of the unlucky few who needs to have them removed, then we have come to help. Find out all you need to know, from the before to after treatment, and help put your mind at ease.
The first step to prepare is to visit your local dentist and ask as many questions as you can. If the extraction is straight forward the dentist may remove it themselves. However, often removal is complicated and may require an oral surgery in the hospital. The following questions may be useful to ask:
If you’re being administered anesthetic you may have to avoid food and drink for at least 8 hours before hand. Like any dental appointment, brushing and flossing is important to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, helping to lower the chance of getting oral infections. Also, you shouldn’t drive home after the surgery. Anesthesia will make you groggy so ensure their is a family member or friend waiting to pick you up.
After being administered the anesthetic; whether it be local, sedation or general anesthetic, the dentist or oral surgeon will do the following:
The time it takes to remove the tooth varies from patient to patient. Some procedures may take only a few minutes, if it’s a simple procedure. However, it may take more than 20 minutes for more complicated extractions.
Once the teeth have be removed you will be taken to a recovery room to allow some time for the anesthesia to wear off. The amount of time it takes to fade depends on the type of anesthetic received and is different for everyone.
There is no need to return to have the stitches removed as your dentist or oral surgeon will use dis-solvable ones. Other things to look out for after having your wisdom teeth removed include:
It is advised to stock up on soft foods and liquids as you may be sore for a few days after. However, over-the-counter medication can often help with the pain. If something stronger is needed then perhaps consult your doctor or local dentist for a prescription. Placing an ice pack up to your jaw may also help with the pain and healing process.
Your cheek may be swollen for a few days, usually 2-3. The use of an ice pack can be used to heal any swelling or bruising caused by the extraction.
You can resume regular activity the day after your surgery but it is bet avoided just after you’ve come home after having your wisdom teeth removed. It is highly recommended to avoid any strenuous activity for at least a week as it may result in losing the blood clot from the socket.
Finally, it is important to not brush, floss or rinse for 24 hours after surgery. Once 24 hours is up, you should rinse your mouth with salt and water every 2 hours and after meals for a week. You can also return to brushing your teeth after the 24 hours but do so gently so as not to disrupt the wound and stitches.