Wisdom Teeth (What are they and how to remove them)
Chances are if you’ve been to the dentist quite regularly, you must have heard of something called the wisdom tooth or even teeth.
This blog post will give you all the details you will need to understand what is a wisdom tooth, why it needs to be removed and the safest procedure to get it done.
So now let’s hit on what is all the commotion about?
Why are Wisdom Teeth a Problem?
Let’s first define what are wisdom teeth?
These are the four adult teeth which are at the back of the mouth and located on the top and bottom.
Usually a wisdom tooth isn’t much trouble on its own. However the problem arises when it doesn’t have enough room to grow.
This leads to pain and can cause dental issues and infection problems. In such scenarios you need to have a wisdom tooth or teeth extracted by your dental surgeon.
Since these special teeth at the back of the mouth arrive in adulthood, they don’t have enough space to grow properly.
This is because all the other teeth have already well-settled into place, not leaving room for others.
What Should You Do?
Since there are 4 wisdom teeth, usually many of these come through only halfway. But they become troublesome at ages of 17.
This makes food a problem, getting stuck between the teeth and the gum.
If not cleaned properly, it will lead to infection and tooth decay.
However there can also be the case where they do come out but they are growing at an awkward angle causing dental problems.
This again will cause pain and impact the other teeth as the irregular angled, partially erupted and impacted wisdom teeth will be rubbing against the mouth and gums.
To avoid such drastic scenarios, it is better to be prepared in advance and keeping a check from an early age will help you plenty.
First and foremost -visit the dentist regularly. If your dental surgeon keeps an eye on your teeth since the adolescent age, they will know how the teeth are developing and will be able to identify if any problems persist and if you are prone to gum disease, you must get the treatment as soon as possible.
But in case you do need to have a surgery, here’s a complete breakdown on the process.
Don’t worry; we have you covered with all you need to know:
The Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
When the time comes for the wisdom tooth removal, there are certain things you need to take into consideration, before the surgery, during and after-care.
Let’s look into the detail of what each of these stands for:
Before Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
Your tooth extraction will begin with a meeting with your oral surgeon. In this meeting, you can ask any questions you might have. Some of the common questions you will need answering to:
- How many wisdom teeth will be removed and altogether?
- Is anesthesia important for the surgery?
- Will any complications arise?
- How long does the procedure last?
- Are nerve damages common?
- How long does the healing take?
Since anaesthesia is usually an important part of the process, your surgeon will share details on how it will be done and will then schedule an appointment suiting to your timetable.
It is also important that you make arrangements to have someone drive you home from the surgery, as you won’t be in the condition to do it on your own.
During Oral Surgery
A wisdom tooth removal surgery usually lasts for 45minutes, if not any less.
The first thing that will be done is you will be given a kind of anaesthesia to numb your mouth.
It can be one of the following options:
This is when your surgeon will numb your mouth by putting drugs into your vein. It will make you drowsy. Even allowing you to fall asleep during the procedure.
This is usually done by making use of a mask. You’ll be asleep and will continue to be unconscious for an hour even after the surgery.
And it is good that you won’t be awake when your doctor will proceed with having to make cuts into your gums and bone, so that your teeth are well-exposed for the procedure.
Remember to sign up to a good dental surgeon with plenty of experience and having an operating room situated in a clean hygienic environment. This will ensure your wounds get healed quicker.
The stitches when done right can dissolve quite fast and you might spit blood for a few days after procedure but that isn’t out of the ordinary and it will heal quite fast.
The surgery takes about an hour or less to complete and again, being under anaesthesia, you wouldn’t feel much pain due to the numbing sensation.
When the effect of the medication has completely taken over, your doctor will work out which tools to make use of to cut through the gums for the wisdom tooth extraction.
Aftercare On the Day of Your Surgery
Once your surgery has completed successfully, it is normal for you to feel a little wobbly. You will not entirely be in your senses and would feel like you are in a dream.
This is the effect of the medication and it will remain so till it’s completely worn off.
There will also be certain swelling and pain at the extraction area and this will also remain for a few days, despite taking in pain killers.
Aside from pain killers, your doctor will also prescribe you certain prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and even an ice pack to help numb the area. It is important that you take all these medicines on time to ensure the area is well-looked after and treated properly.
Also it is important to know: you cannot drive after your surgery. Since you will be under the influence of general anesthesia, it is best that you bring someone to give you the ride needed to go back home.
Also keep in mind that throughout the day of the surgery, you will be lazy and lethargic, hence keep it easy on yourself and spend the time sleeping or resting on your coach. It’s your day off!
Home Care After Surgery
When it comes to making the most of your recovery from the wisdom teeth surgery, know that it will be taking you almost a full week to recover.
However the wound takes almost months to completely heal, hence you must clean your wound and take precautionary measures to ensure that no complications arise.
While the symptoms are known to drastically improve, with many gone by the third day of the procedure, the pain subsides with time.
It is also possible to start off your daily activities soon after the surgery but make sure to avoid anything that will exert pressure. This will cause improper blood clotting and may dislodge your stitches too.
Complications After Wisdom Tooth Removal
While having some swelling, pain and bleeding is normal after the procedure, if you feel it is becoming completely unbearable, you should contact your dentist.
There are certain complications which can lead to serious infections, even nerve damages. These include:
- You have trouble swallowing or breathing
- high fever
- you are taking medication which isn’t effective
- swelling that isn’t getting better
- a continuous sensation of numbness
- you have noticed blood or pus coming from the nose
- bleeding that isn’t stopping
Home Care Techniques to Adapt
To avoid certain infections and complications, remember to adapt good oral hygiene which will help in the healing process.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will be giving the precise instructions needed to keep your mouth clean and maintain teeth’s hygiene in the best possible way.
You will probably need to brush, rinse and floss everyday on a regular basis. Some other common cleaning techniques you should adapt readily are:
*Rinse your mouth with salt water. This should be done twice a day. And instead of using force to spit out water, tilt your head on the side and let the water escape normally.
*It is best that you dab the wound lightly when you feel blood is oozing out fast. Know this that it is extremely important that you don’t dislodge the blood clot and the stitches should remain in proper place. If the blood clot is disrupted, there will be increased pain and you might have a higher risk of infection also.
*This is what is called a dry socket. A dry socket is a common condition and can occur in any wound holes.
.*Hence it is important that you pay attention to the wound and take good care of yourself and pay attention to any signs of trouble.
Foods to Eat and Avoid
It is important that you keep your food and diet extremely healthy and maintained during the healing process.
Staying hydrated is important.
While you might not have a very good appetite after the surgery, you must still consume and avoid certain foods.
Your dental surgeon will provide you certain instructions on what to eat and avoid the first few weeks after the surgery.
Foods to Eat
You should consume food that doesn’t require you to chew hard as that will effect your stitches and the blood clot. Consume soft food like :
• cottage cheese
• apple sauce
• mashed potatoes
Foods to Avoid
• avoid consumption of hot and spicy food
• don’t eat a lot of nuts and seeds which can easily leave residue in the hole, where your procedure was done
• when drinking with too much force, or slurping hard with a straw can cause the dislodgment of your blood clot
Wisdom teeth removal has now become a very common procedure. There were times when people used to get scared and anxious about how to get it done.
However now with the state of the art technology and extremely helpful dental professionals, you can have the problems associated with your last set of molars fixed in no time.
But when it comes to the healing process after surgery, your own effort and carefulness to adapt good habits will lead to a faster healing timeline.
Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions, especially relating to the diet and when to adapt your regular lifestyle activities.
The recovery time is usually 3 days to a week but the wound heals completely within months. Make sure to give yourself time to heal.
Also, follow at-home care tactics so as to ensure good oral hygiene to avoid infections and any further complications.