Most people grow three sets of molars. The third set is known as your wisdom teeth, as they come in later in life (between 17 and 25). In most cases, your dentist removes wisdom teeth to prevent future problems. However, most people have their wisdom teeth removed due to the prevalence of impaction, smaller jaws, and odd growing angles. Let’s look at why your dentist may suggest removing your wisdom teeth and what to expect after the procedure.
About Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal is one of the more common dental surgeries. However, wisdom teeth can suffer from many complications, including impaction, where your teeth do not have space to come in and press against your existing teeth. Sometimes, your wisdom teeth may come in at a sideways angle, pushing against your teeth. Your dentist may also suggest removing your wisdom teeth even if they come in correctly, as those prone to gum disease and cavities may find caring for their wisdom teeth difficult.
Wisdom teeth removal is a simple surgery that does require some level of anesthetic. This can range from local anesthetic, which numbs the area around your teeth, to full IV sedation and general anesthetic. The latter two options are best for those nervous about dental procedures, as they will allow you to sleep through the whole process.
Removing your wisdom teeth involves removing the bone over the wisdom teeth and extracting the teeth. If your wisdom teeth are severely impacted, your dentist may break them into pieces to remove them more accessible. Then, the remaining socket is cleaned and, in some cases, stitched over. Finally, your dentist will place gauze over the extraction sites to promote healing and prevent irritation.
Recovery Length and Home Care
If you are under general anesthesia, be prepared to be groggy after your surgery. While you can technically resume non-strenuous activities the day after your surgery, be ready to rest. It is best to avoid strenuous activities for at least a week after your surgery. Since there may be swelling or bruising during your recovery from wisdom teeth removal, you can use an ice pack to reduce discomfort.
While drinking water is crucial to your recovery, don’t drink out of a straw, as this can loosen the clot in your extraction site and lead to a dry socket. Be sure to stick to soft foods like applesauce and mashed potatoes for at least 24 hours after your surgery. While you can gradually move to semisoft foods as you recover, take your time; it’s better to take it slow than cause an injury or pain.
Signs of Infection After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
You should call your dental office if you have excessive bleeding, fever, severe pain that breaks through prescription pain meds, swelling that gets worse, pus or oozing in the socket, numbness, or a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away even after rinsing. Thankfully, catching an infection early can speed up treatment and prevent later issues.
If you think you may need your wisdom teeth removed or would like to talk with one of our trained dental care professionals, give us a call at (303) 798-4967. Here at Southbridge Dentistry, we work hard to ensure you get the best dental treatment. If you have any questions about wisdom tooth removal recovery or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today.