What Are Wisdom Teeth and Why Should They Be Extracted?
Third molars, also known as wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come through. They are located in the back of the gums and usually they come out in someones late teens or early 20s, but the age varies.
In some cases, wisdom teeth might become stuck and not come through properly, or they might push other teeth further. Crowded teeth are harder to keep clean and often wisdom teeth suffer from tooth decay or infections. When the health of the teeth is impacted, wisdom teeth extraction comes into place.
The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Process
As with any tooth extraction, anesthesia is needed to keep you from moving and from feeling any pain. Anesthetic will be injected in the area and the doctor will make sure it’s numb before proceeding.
In case of anxiety, sedatives might also be administered.
The removal of the wisdom tooth is considered oral surgery but it’s a simple procedure, but might take longer if the tooth hasn’t broken through the gum or the bone.
The doctor might cut the impacted wisdom tooth in pieces before removing it, to make it easier to extract.
After the tooth removal, a suture is made to close the open tissue. You will be asked to hold a sterile gauze on the place of the incision and to apply pressure on it.
Our oral surgeon and our staff will give you post oral surgery instructions such as what foods and activities to avoid. You should call the doctor if there is any sign of infection.
The normal recovery period takes 7-10 days.
If an infection of the incision occurs, it’s a dental emergency and you need to contact an emergency unit. Common symptoms include: bad smell, swelling of the gums, puss coming out of the area, fever, pain that is not relieved by medication.
It’s recommended to stay away from spicy food, hard foods, seeds or foods with small bits that might get stuck in the incision area. Eat cooler, softer foods like ice cream, fruit puree, soups, pasta, boiled and mashed vegetables etc.
When wisdom teeth are impacted, there isn’t enough space for them to fully erupt through the gums. This causes these teeth to become trapped behind the gums completely, only partially erupt, or erupt at an angle.
The lack of space in the jaw to accommodate these teeth can result in severe tooth and jaw pain, overcrowding, damage to the surrounding teeth, and difficulty keeping them clean which results in tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth infections.
Signs that your impacted wisdom teeth are causing you problems and should be removed include having bad breath, sinus problems, cysts, pain, inflamed gums, difficulty opening your mouth wide, cavities, cysts, a bad taste in the mouth, bleeding gums, and earaches.
Impacted wisdom teeth cause oral health problems because they’re located at the very back of the mouth which makes them hard to reach to thoroughly brush and floss. This increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Plaque and tartar accumulation cause gum inflammation that can be very painful. A lack of space can also mean that they start running into other teeth or cutting into your cheeks, which can cause more pain and make your jaw feel strained.
Ask Questions – The first step in preparing your child for oral surgery is to ask the dentist all of your questions. You can’t prepare if you don’t know how you should be preparing. You can ask them what to expect, what you can eat beforehand when you should arrive for the surgery if you need to stop taking certain medications, and what your child should eat after surgery. That’s just some examples of important questions. You may have more or less, but don’t be afraid to ask!
Prepare for Sedation – If your child is receiving general anesthesia for their extraction procedure, you should make sure they take the day off from any responsibilities like school. They will need time to rest and will be affected by the hangover effects of sedation for up to 24 hours. They also may need a few days to heal before returning to school. You can expect some minor pain, bleeding, and swelling to occur.
Know What to Avoid – Your child may receive instructions to avoid eating before their procedure. They may need to fast for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure. If your child takes any medications, let Dr. Delorme know, as some of these medications may need to be discontinued temporarily to avoid interference with the medications administered during surgery.
Have Your Aftercare Ready – Know what your child should eat after surgery, how to reduce swelling and bleeding, and how to manage pain. Ask the dentist if there is anything your child will need to avoid while they heal.