The third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, represent the final set of molars, typically appearing during the late teenage years or early twenties. Many individuals may require the extraction of their wisdom teeth at some stage in their lives. Familiarizing oneself with what to anticipate and how to get ready for this relatively common dental procedure can mitigate anxiety and promote a smoother recovery
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure for several reasons:
- Impaction: There are times when wisdom teeth do not have enough room to emerge properly, leading to impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection, and even damage to neighboring teeth.
- Crowding: Wisdom teeth can put pressure on adjacent teeth, leading to misalignment or crowding issues.
- Infection: Wisdom teeth can be hard to clean properly, making them an easy target for infection and gum disease.
- Pain and discomfort: Emerging wisdom teeth can cause pain and discomfort, especially if they are partially erupted or impacted.
The Wisdom Teeth Removal Process
Going into the wisdom teeth removal process, understanding the process can help ease your concerns. Here’s a step-by-step overview of what to expect:
1. Consultation and Evaluation
Before the procedure, you’ll have a consultation where the doctor will examine your mouth, possibly take X-rays, and discuss your medical history to determine if wisdom teeth removal is necessary or warranted.
On the day of the procedure, you will receive either local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the extraction and your personal preference.
3. Tooth Extraction
While under anesthesia, an incision is made in your gum tissue to access the wisdom tooth. If the tooth is impacted, the doctor may need to remove bone tissue to access and remove the tooth. The incision may be stitched closed, and a gauze pad will be placed over the extraction site to control bleeding.
4. Recovery Room
You will be monitored in a recovery room until the anesthesia wears off. This can take a few hours, depending on the type of anesthesia used.
How To Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Here are some recommended essential steps to prepare for wisdom teeth removal. First, you should plan to take a day or two off of work or school to recover. Next, make sure you have transportation to and from your appointment as you will be unable to drive yourself if you undergo general anesthesia. Be prepared to follow a soft diet after surgery, so visit the grocery store in advance to stock up on easy-to-eat food, pain medication (as recommended by the doctor), and ice packs to reduce swelling and help with pain.
What To Expect After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Recovery time varies from person to person. Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions regarding activity level and diet. In the first 24 hours, most people experience some bleeding and swelling. Make sure to take enough rest and avoid strenuous activities. Apply ice packs to the face as directed to reduce swelling. Once 48 hours have passed, swelling and bruising typically reach their peak. It is important to continue to rest and maintain a soft diet. Most people can return to work and school after 3-5 days, but it is best to avoid strenuous activity for at least one week. After one to two weeks, it is acceptable to resume a regular diet and activity.
You will likely be asked to come back for a follow-up appointment so that your oral surgeon can make sure that your healing is progressing normally.
Wisdom teeth removal is a common and generally straightforward procedure. By understanding what to expect and following recommendations for preparation and recovery, you can minimize discomfort and promote a smooth healing process. If you have concerns or questions about wisdom teeth removal, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your dentist or oral surgeon to ensure you are well-informed and prepared for the procedure. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Dr. Sedaros in Melbourne, Florida, at (321) 610-7868.