Has your dentist recently recommended that you have your wisdom teeth removed? Or are you considering going to the dentist because your wisdom teeth bother you? If so, you probably wonder what happens during the wisdom teeth removal procedure and what you should expect afterward.

Our Melbourne oral surgeon is glad to describe the procedure and provide details of what you might expect during recovery.

What is Wisdom Teeth, and Why Do I Need to Have It Removed?

Wisdom teeth are molars, the teeth in the very back of your mouth that grind your food. There are normally four wisdom teeth in a person’s mouth—one on each side at the back of their upper and lower jaw—but some people have fewer wisdom teeth, others have more, and a few have none at all. Wisdom teeth usually appear through the gum line, or “erupt,” when a person is in their early 20s.

Some wisdom teeth erupt through the gumline without causing any problems. Others may be problematic and cause short- and long-term oral health issues. Many problems with the eruption of wisdom teeth develop when there isn’t enough room on the person’s jawbone to accommodate the extra teeth. Problems may also arise when something prevents a wisdom tooth from erupting properly.

Sometimes wisdom teeth come in at an angle and push into the gum tissue or tooth next to them. At other times, the molars never entirely break through the gum tissue. Dentists refer to both of these as “impacted wisdom teeth.”

Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful as they press against other teeth or gum tissue. Crowded wisdom teeth that lean sideways can rub against your cheeks, causing sores and chewing.

Left in place, wisdom teeth can also cause infection by making teeth more challenging to clean, especially if the wisdom tooth prevents your toothbrush from reaching back teeth. Food and bacteria can get stuck between the wisdom tooth and its neighboring tooth; leaving food and bacteria in place can trigger tooth decay and a specific type of gum disease associated with wisdom teeth, known as pericoronitis.

Our oral surgeon may recommend wisdom tooth removal, also known as wisdom tooth extraction, in some instances. Extraction may be recommended if:

  • There isn’t enough room in your mouth for the wisdom tooth to come in properly
  • The wisdom tooth is currently causing pain, infection, or damage to other teeth
  • There is a chance that the tooth could cause problems later

Melbourne Oral Surgeon Describes the Procedure

While millions of people have had their wisdom teeth removed, many of them didn’t know what the procedure involved. Fortunately, our oral surgeon in Melbourne has performed wisdom teeth extractions countless times, so we are always glad to review the procedure.

After the initial consultation and examination, you’ll come to our office for the extraction. If your examination confirms that your wisdom teeth are not impacted, we will administer a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. If you have impacted wisdom teeth, we may offer dental sedation.

Next, we’ll use special tools to remove your wisdom teeth. Sometimes, we’ll divide the tooth into sections and remove the pieces. We’ll clean the site; if necessary, we’ll stitch the wound to promote healing. Finally, we’ll place gauze over the extraction site to control bleeding and promote blood clot formation.

Removing just one non-impacted wisdom tooth will take about 20 to 30 minutes. Removing all four should take one to two hours. You’ll recover in our comfortable recovery area or the dental chair.

When you go home, you can expect some bleeding at the treatment site. Replace the gauze as needed, but leave the gauze in as long as our dentist recommends to maintain the blood clot. Try to avoid excessive spitting so that you do not dislodge the clot.

Over-the-counter pain relievers usually help with the discomfort, although we may prescribe prescription pain medications in some cases. Holding a cold pack against your jaw will help.

Eat only soft foods. Avoid alcohol, and do not smoke for at least 72 hours.

Melbourne, FL, Residents Rely on for Oral Health

Oral health and a great smile require more than just brushing and flossing. To help you have the brightest, healthiest smile possible, our oral surgeons at Sedaros Dental Surgery focus on performing oral surgeries, such as wisdom teeth removal. While the eruption of wisdom teeth is expected, removing wisdom teeth requires our oral surgeons’ uncommon skill and expertise at Sedaros Dental Surgery. We are the oral surgeons Melbourne residents rely on for healthy smiles.