How Your Oral Surgeon Will Go About Wisdom Teeth Extraction

How Your Oral Surgeon Will Go About Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Wisdom teeth, also known as the third set of molars, are the last set of teeth in the mouth to develop, which usually happens somewhere around the ages of 17 – 25.

Wisdom teeth for many are surplus to requirement; you already have all the molars you need and these just become an extra pair. However, these late appearing teeth can also be the cause of a lot of pain and discomfort for some people or have a serious impact on other teeth as they push their way to the surface. When this happens your dentist will recommend having them taken out. Having your wisdom teeth removed can preserve a straight even smile, reduce risk of decay if you have problem teeth, as well as alleviate any pain.

When the wisdom teeth first begin to show through, they can be what’s call “impacted”. Impacted is the name given to teeth that do not grow straight up and out through the gum, which is why your dentist will urge you to have them removed. The pain from impacted wisdom teeth as they develop can be excruciating. Regular check ups during the years your wisdom teeth are due (ages 17 – 25) together with x-rays can help identify early if your wisdom teeth are likely to be impacted.

Impacted teeth can sometimes be extracted (pulled out) with some physical effort by your dentist (unlike normally formed teeth, impacted teeth can have deformed roots which make them really difficult to remove – just like an old tree stump). When detected early, teeth that look likely to have a root problem can be extracted with minimal discomfort to you and your wallet.

In some extreme cases your impacted wisdom teeth will need to be surgically removed by a qualified surgeon; this is usually to ensure that there is no nerve or bone damage done during the extraction process. Bone damage can have serious long term affects on the health of your mouth and teeth, while nerve damage can disfigure your facial appearance.

When the time comes to have your wisdom teeth extracted, you’ll need to go to an oral surgeon first for a consultation. During the consultation, x-rays will be taken so that an assessment of the best way to take your wisdom teeth out can be made.

The oral surgeon will discuss the x-ray results with you, take a look in your mouth, then talk you through the options you have for having them removed; usually the biggest decision is the type of anesthesia you want to use.

Unless you have a very serious problem with impacted wisdom teeth, you’ll be given the option of using “local” or “general” anesthesia.

General anesthesia is where you are completely sedated and unconscious as you would be for any other type of surgical procedure. This may require a hospital visit depending on your location or could just be a day surgery procedure, where you go home after you’ve recovered from the anesthetic. With this type of anesthesia, you are totally unaware of what has happened to you and it may take you a day or two to fully recover from the anesthetic. After a general anesthetic you will need to driven home by someone else.

Local anesthesia is where the area that is to be treated is numbed so that you have no pain and are still fully alert and awake. The procedure is usually performed in the oral surgeons, practice in the dental chair and is a much quicker procedure to recover from. Because you are conscious throughout the procedure you are likely to experience sensations such as pulling and pressure when the time comes for the surgeon to take out the teeth. Usually it is the sights and sounds that most upset people – You can ask the oral surgeon if they’ll allow you to listen to your MP3 player and wear a black out eye mask during the appointment so that you’re unaware of what is going on (this helps many people have an easier experience).

Depending on the shape, size, and the formation of your wisdom teeth, the removal process can vary wildly from easy to hard. Every person’s experience is different, so ignore the stories of your friends and family about what it was like for them… chances are good that it will be nothing like what they went through.

Once your wisdom teeth have been removed you may require a few little stitches. Your dentist will decide if they need to be the auto-dissolving type or the type that need to be removed later. If the stitches need to be taken out by your dentist, make sure you keep the appointment for removing them, because the longer these stitches stay in the more uncomfortable they are to be removed.

As with any type of surgery there will be aching and possibly some swelling. If you’re prone to swelling when you twist an ankle or bump and bruise yourself, then expect to have swelling. However, just like with the extraction process itself, everyone reacts differently – some people will get chipmunk cheeks and others won’t.

For the pain, your dentist will prescribe medication and give you instructions on when and how often to take it. If you find that the pain or any swelling hasn’t settled down within 48 hours phone your dentist and make sure that everything is on track in your recovery. They will ask you questions to help them work out if you’ve got a recovery problem.

For the first 48 hours after your wisdom teeth have been removed, you’ll be restricted in what you can eat, so plan ahead and make sure you’ve got some easy to eat soft meals to see you through (your dentist can give you advice on the best foods for recovery prior to having your teeth removed). Dentist’s often hear stories about patients having their absolute favorite meals before having their wisdom teeth out as a treat before the treatment.

You may also want to avoid activities that increase blood pressure, as this can make your entire mouth and jaw throb and ache quite a lot. The good news however, is that your mouth is pretty quick to heal itself, so within a week you could be back to your everyday normal food and activities.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.