The teeth that need to be extracted even before their total eruption are the wisdom teeth. They are the last teeth to appear in the oral cavity or not erupt at all. But often even if they don’t erupt they may cause problems, and the only option is their extraction. We talk about what causes eruption problems for wisdom teeth in another other article. Click here to read more about Wisdom Teeth.
The removal of wisdom tooth is not as easy as for any other tooth, so it is mostly done by a surgeon, in his dental office or in the hospital. Wisdom teeth extraction is done when there is not enough room for their eruption, and some doctors recommend their extraction even if there are not causing problems yet, to prevent any future problems as a preventive measure. Now we are going to describe the surgical removal of wisdom teeth.
First of all your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. If the patient has to remove all 4 wisdom teeth and all with flap surgery general anesthetics will be needed. For impacted wisdom tooth the dental surgeon will incise the soft tissue that surrounds it with a scalpel creating a flap so he can have a better view of the tooth. Sometimes if the tooth is covered with bone he may need to remove it and separating the tooth from the bone. Also sometimes is needed to cut the tooth in pieces to remove it. After the extraction the area left empty can be quite big and you may need stitches. Some doctors even put synthetic bone to fill the cavity and then stitch it. Over the wand is placed cotton gauze to help stop the bleeding and you can go home.
After wisdom teeth removal you may not feel any problems at all but you also have to be prepared because you may experience:
- Pain and swelling in the area surrounding your tooth and sometimes even in the cheeks if the extraction is difficult and needs surgery
- Bleeding in the first 24 ours
- Difficulties in opening your mouth
- Damages to dental work like crowns or bridges near the wisdom tooth
- Numbness fort at least 4 hours after the surgery
Here are some tips to help you prevent and cooperate with the pain or the discomfort mentioned before.
- Keep the gauze in your mouth for at least 1 hour, and do not touch it with your hand because you might contaminate it. If your bleeding persist in noticeable quantity after 24 hour you call your dentist or surgeon as he can give you advice what to do.
- Do not spit with force because this way you remove the blood clot and the bleeding starts over again.
- Don’t lie flat. Put some pillow under your head because lie position prolongs the bleeding.
- Use ice pack as soon you can, and keep it for the first 24 hour to avoid or reduce swelling.
- While your mouth is still under the effect of the anesthetics careful not to bite your cheeks or tongue.
- Eat soft foods for the next few days and avoid eating hot foods as heat may increase the bleeding.
- Rinse gently with salt water or the mouthwash prescribed by your dentist.
- If you smoke, reduce as much as you can the quantity of the cigarette in the first 24 hours because smoking decreases the blood supply and makes it easier for germs to infect the area.
- Don’t forget to brush your teeth, carefully even in the area near the extracted wisdom teeth because not brushing your teeth causes plaque accumulation near the areas and so infection of the area.
- Avoid touching the area with your hands or rubbing it with your tongue. Also stitches harden during the permanence in the mouth so rubbing your tongue against them can lesion it.
- In the first 24 hours using pain killers may help you with the discomfort. You should use one just after you leave the surgeons studio, so when the effect of the anesthetics goes away you can prevent feeling pain and discomfort.
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