Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth 2017-05-10T14:12:35+00:00

Wisdom Teeth

Dreaded by all and experienced by many, in north America alone, nearly 5 million patients go to the dentist for wisdom teeth extractions each year. Wisdom teeth are basically a third set of molars that can start coming in between the ages of 17 – 25, though these figures are not absolute. The arrival of wisdom teeth usually is considered a bad omen by both dentists and patients. There are several reasons why dentists prefer an immediate extraction of wisdom teeth.

  • A third set of molars force their way into the jaw, which is limited by space and is already accommodating the maximum number of teeth. The emergence of another tooth will lead to crowding and damage to other mature teeth.
  • The orientation of your wisdom teeth is off which may cause them to collide with the adjacent teeth, resulting in structural and anatomical damage to the jaw and may even throw of your bite.
  • You might be exposed to infection if the wisdom do not erupt completely from the gums.
  • Incomplete eruption may lead to cysts, which could lead to infection and injury to the adjacent bone and sensitive nerve endings around the gum.

No matter the modus operandi, wisdom tooth extraction has been around for ages, and whether extraction is performed to alleviate a preexisting problem or a preventative measure to avoid the pain of wisdom tooth eruption, this method has always a been a trusted method of alleviating the problem.

The Procedure

Wisdom tooth extraction is an office affair, performed by either a dentist or an oral surgeon. Local anesthetic administered through an injection is usually sufficient for singular extractions, however if you happen to need multiple extractions done, then a general anesthetic or conscious sedatives may be used to relieve you from the pain.

Once anesthetized, depending on the nature of the case, the dentist will extract the tooth gently, either by cutting through the gums if the tooth has not erupted, or pulling it out carefully if it already has erupted. Post surgery, you will be advised to rest briefly, before being discharged from the office. Be mindful of anesthetic effects, you will not be permitted to drive after dental surgery.

Post Procedure

The recovery period does not last more than a few days. Resting is recommended by dentists during this time, which aids in recovery and healing. Be prepared to experience some intermittent bleeding from the extraction site. Usually dentists provide gauze pads to manage the discharge accordingly and it is also advised that you keep your head elevated from the rest of your body with pillows, as opposed to lying flat on the bed.

To mitigate swelling, try the old school ice bag approach, hold an ice bag outside of your cheek on and off for 5 minutes, this will not only reduce blood discharge but also reduce the swelling which accompanies every wisdom tooth extraction.

Dentists advise patients to eat soft food during the first few days post surgery, additionally, be careful during the brushing and oral hygiene process. Until you are completely healed, your gums will be sensitive and forceful brushing may lead to reopening the wound.