Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are named because they tend to erupt at the age where a person is supposed to have achieved some kind of wisdom, which is adolescence to early adulthood. If the wisdom teeth are aligned and there’s room for them in the jaw, then they shouldn’t cause problems. But often the human jaw is not long enough for these third molars to erupt properly. Some even erupt on their side or are impacted. This can cause damage to the nearby teeth, the nerves or the jawbone.

When wisdom teeth partially erupt, they allow bacteria to enter by way of the gums and cause an infection. Misaligned wisdom teeth are also hard to take care of through the usual brushing and flossing.

A person’s regular dentist monitors the wisdom teeth through X-rays. Sometimes, the patient is sent to a specialist to have them removed even if they’re not causing problems. This is because it’s easier to remove a wisdom tooth when it’s asymptomatic. It’s also easier to remove when the patient is younger because its roots haven’t fully developed, and the bone of the jaw is less dense.

Removing Wisdom Teeth

The ease of removing a wisdom tooth depends on its position. If it’s fully erupted, it can be pulled like any other tooth. The dentist uses special instruments to grasp the tooth, rotate it and pull it out from the gun and the bone. If the wisdom tooth is impacted, the oral surgeon needs to open the gum and remove some bone from around the tooth. They might have to take the tooth out in small pieces.

The oral surgeon gives the patient anesthesia before the surgery. Some patients who are vey anxious may need sedation. This may come in the form of laughing gas, Valium or intravenous sedation. The patient will need someone to drive them home if they have sedation.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery

For the first day or so, the patient can expect some bleeding at the surgical site.To splint the wound, they should bite a piece of gauze or a teabag for about 45 minutes. If the bleeding is excessive, they need to call their dentist.

The patient also experiences facial swelling, which can be soothed by an ice pack. The ice pack should be applied 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours or so.

The dentist will have prescribed pain medication and antibiotics. The patient needs to take the full course of antibiotics even if they are feeling well.

The patient needs to be on a liquid diet for the first 24 hours. After that, they can have soft foods such as puddings.

After the first day, the facial swelling should respond to a heating pad, and the mouth should be rinsed with warm salt water. The rinse is made by adding a half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and should be used after eating and at bedtime. The patient should avoid store bought mouthwashes.

As they heal, the patient should be on the alert for a condition called dry socket. This is when a blood clot either doesn’t form in the surgical site or has fallen out. This interferes with healing and should be seen to by the dentist.

If the stitches are removable, the dentist will take them out after about a week. It takes from a few weeks to a few months for a person to heal from a wisdom tooth extraction. Younger patients tend to heal faster than older ones.

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