Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common dental surgeries. Your wisdom teeth are your third set of molars. These teeth usually grow in between the late teenage years and early twenties and earned their name due to the added “wisdom” getting older brings.
While your third molars can help you chew food, 85% of people have their wisdom teeth removed due to small jaws, improper alignment, or impacted teeth. Let’s examine why your dentist may extract your wisdom teeth and what to expect during and after the procedure.
Why Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary?
Your dentist will advise removing your wisdom teeth for a variety of reasons. For example, sometimes your mouth is too small, or your teeth are too crowded to fit your wisdom teeth. Other times, your wisdom teeth may be growing improperly, such as in the case of impacted teeth. When your teeth are impacted, they cannot break through the surface of your gumline and may be pressing against your other teeth, causing pain and alignment changes.
Even if your wisdom teeth come in wholly or partially, or if they are poorly aligned or partially erupted, they can leave room for bacteria growth, paving the way for future infection and dental issues.
How Do I Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Talk to your dentist about the surgery in advance. Ensure you don’t eat anything before surgery and follow all dentist recommendations. Wisdom teeth removal can be done under localized anesthetic or general sedation. Talk with your dentist about the right kind of sedation for you, and ensure you have a ride back from the office on the day of your procedure.
While recovery from wisdom teeth removal is usually relatively easy, you should prepare to take a few days off from work and make sure you have time to rest. Have ice packs on hand, and eat only the foods your dentist recommends. You should also avoid sucking on straws or any chewy foods to ensure no dental complications down the road and to promote healing.
In general, while you can go back to work a few days after having your wisdom teeth removed, it can take up to two weeks for the bruising and swelling to go down and for you to return to eating regular food.
How Painful Is Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
While under localized numbing agents or sedation, you will not feel any part of the procedure. If you are not sedated, you may feel slight pressure during the extraction but should not feel any pain. Your dentist will prescribe pain medication for the first few days of recovery, and you should expect general tenderness and ache after your surgery. If you have sharp, throbbing, hot pain, contact your dental team immediately, as this can signify infection. Also, if the clot where your wisdom teeth were is dislodged, contact your dental team immediately to avoid dry mouth or other complications.
If you have any other questions about wisdom teeth removal, call Southbridge Dentistry at (303) 798-4967. Our team of trained dentists can help answer any questions and help schedule an appointment today.