Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually emerge around your late teens and early 20s. Wisdom teeth are a set of molars on the back of the mouth that grow out quite late in a person's life, and oftentimes need to be extracted as a preventative measure.
The wisdom tooth extraction procedure is simple, risk-free, and one of the most common dental procedures that many people choose to undergo voluntarily. At Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates, we provide many dental services including wisdom tooth extractions, cosmetic, emergency, and general dentistry procedures among others.
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?
It is not always a necessity to remove the wisdom teeth. If the set of third molars grows out normally, then you can keep them without any issues. However, if they are impacted or if there is a high chance that they can get impacted in the future, then removing them is a sound choice.
The number one reason for removing wisdom teeth is impaction. Impaction means that the wisdom tooth did not grow properly as it did not have enough room to emerge.
In this case, the wisdom tooth may only be partial or not even grow outside the gum at all, causing a lot of pain. In such cases, the tooth needs to be extracted surgically.
An impacted tooth can bring a myriad of oral issues besides pain and swelling. An impacted tooth may decay over time, which can deteriorate your oral health further. Other problems include infections, tooth damage, gum disease, and cavities.
Preparing For Wisdom Tooth Removal
If you are experiencing pain and difficulty eating, your dentist will recommend getting your wisdom teeth extracted. They will do a digital x-ray to evaluate the extent of the damage and other important variables.
You may be asked to share your dental history among other health conditions that you may have. If you are taking any medications on a regular basis, share that with your dentist. This is also the right time to make a choice between a local anesthetic - that merely numbs the area, keeping you awake - or IV sedatives if you need them.
Remember, with IV sedatives, you may need to fast for 12 hours beforehand if you do not want to experience any side effects. In extreme cases, you may need a general anesthetic that renders you completely unconscious, but these cases are rare and usually unnecessary.
The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery
The wisdom tooth extraction procedure can vary depending on whether the wisdom tooth has come out partially or is trapped inside the gum. If it is trapped inside the sac, then your dentist or oral surgeon will have to make a cut or incision in the gum itself, as well as drill and remove some bone if necessary to get to the root.
Once the wisdom tooth is visible, the surgeon or dentist will loosen it until it is ready to be removed. If necessary, they will break it up into smaller pieces and remove it piece by piece. The oral surgeon or dentist will also start loosening up the tooth as much as possible by pulling or moving it around so it has more room in the gum.
If you feel any pain during the surgery, bring it to the attention of your dentist or oral surgeon. If needed, they can administer another dose of anesthetics.
Once the tooth is removed, the wound will be cleaned and stitched shut, usually with dissolvable stitches that will fade away in a few days. The entire procedure time differs from patient to patient, but it should take less than an hour in most cases.
Can You Put a Dental Crown on a Wisdom Tooth?
In some cases, Dr. Ignatowicz has recommended using dental crowns to restore the appearance of broken or damaged wisdom teeth. If the teeth are not impacted, this might be a more suitable option than extraction.
At Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates, we take all of the necessary measures to ensure that you are making a sound choice about your oral health.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery
Recovery after a wisdom tooth extraction is far milder than most dental procedures. However, depending on the anesthetic given to you, you may need some rest post surgery.
If your dentist or oral surgeon used a local anesthetic, the effects should wear off in a few hours. You may feel some numbness in your mouth that will go away as the day goes on.
If you receive general anesthesia, you may feel dizzy for a while after the surgery. It is best to be taken home immediately and rest.
You will most likely not feel any pain right after the surgery, but some swelling may pertain. Your surgeon may recommend ice packs and muscle relaxants to reduce the swelling. If you experience any bleeding, place a gauze on the extraction site. For mild pain, you can also use over-the-counter pain relievers.
Diet Management After Tooth Extraction Surgery
When it comes to diet, it is best to stick to soft foods for the first few days. It is also important that you drink a lot of water and abstain from caffeine, soda, or anything hot for 24 hours after the surgery. If you smoke, then you will also have to put smoking on hold for a few days, or better, take this opportunity to quit the habit.
In case of an unlikely infection, you should contact your dentist immediately. They may prescribe antibiotics and other medications for the same if necessary. Some common signs of infection include fever, difficulty breathing, fluctuating pain, and swelling.
Schedule an Appointment for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Overall, wisdom tooth extraction is hassle-free. But be sure to continue taking care of your oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing post surgery.
To learn more about wisdom tooth extractions, you may schedule an appointment with us here at Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates. To speak to our staff on the phone, feel free to reach us at 702-473-5100.