Wisdom teeth do not play any particular role, nor do they have a specific reason to exist. Therefore, we might think of them the same way we do about the appendix.
Simply put, wisdom teeth are in your mouth (and they might not cause any problems). But you can have a perfectly healthy life without them.
However, wisdom teeth can also be the source of future complications. That´s why many dental health professionals recommend wisdom teeth removal, even when they´re not causing problems.
In this article, we´ll be talking about wisdom teeth removal procedures. Also, what to expect before, during, and after the surgery. Let´s begin!
Wisdom Teeth Removal, what should you expect?
First and foremost, whether you´re presenting symptoms or not, your dentist will examine (and usually do x-rays) to determine your wisdom teeth situation.
It might turn out your dentist considers you should undergo a preventive wisdom teeth removal for one of the following reasons:
- Your mouth/jaw is not big enough to house extra molar pieces.
- Your wisdom teeth erupt at the wrong angle, thus pressing against the adjacent teeth.
- You´re not able to reach your wisdom teeth. Thus, you won´t be able to brush or floss them, which might cause gum disease/cavities.
- You have impacted wisdom teeth, which means they´re trapped (either in the jawbone or gums), thus causing you terrible pain.
The wisdom teeth removal surgery should take about 45mins. Your dentist will administer one of these anesthetics to minimise pain during the extraction procedure.
- Local: Using a local shot of lidocaine, novocaine, or mepivacaine, your dentist numbs your mouth. Also, some dentists use nitrous oxide to relax/doze patients during surgery.
These types of anesthesia guarantee you´ll be completely awake shortly afterwards.
- IV Sedation: Aside from numbing your mouth, your dental surgeon might give you drugs through a vein in your arms. This way, you´ll be asleep during the whole surgery.
- General: Sometimes, dentists need to cut your gums or jawbone to remove wisdom teeth. By using IV drugs (or nitrous oxide), patients are put to sleep, thus making the procedure painless.
Doctors might need to stitch your wounds shut to ensure proper healing. Usually, these stitches dissolve some days after the procedure.
Also, to soak up the excess bleeding, dentists might stuff the extraction area with gauze pads.
Not all patients respond to anesthesia the same way. Thus, it´s recommended you bring someone to keep you company during/after your surgery.
Although most patients experience little pain (or not at all), you´ll likely feel mild discomfort and swelling for about 3days.
In the aftermath of a wisdom teeth removal procedure, one other thing you should be vigilant about is the condition known as dry socket.
It occurs when a blood clot gets dislodged from the extraction area, exposing the jaw bone and nerves. In this case, patients experience an excruciating pain sensation.
Dry socket is the most common complication associated with wisdom teeth removal. Nonetheless, it can be prevented by strictly following your dentist´s post-op guidance and recommendations.
Whether you already have your wisdom teeth, as if they´ve not erupted yet, but you feel unsure about letting them come out, please, consult with your dentist.
There´s no one better than a dental professional to help determine the best course of action regarding your current (and future) dental health. Until next time!