Wisdom Tooth Extractions
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the large teeth located in the back of the mouth. Known as third molars, there are four in total—one located at both ends of each arch of teeth. They are the last teeth to come through, typically erupting in early adulthood. However, sometimes there is insufficient space in the mouth for them and they may grow crooked, push other teeth out of the way, or become impacted. If these problems, or other dental health issues, are caused by your wisdom teeth, it may be preferable for you to have them taken out.
How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Don’t be alarmed that wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure. The difference between a regular tooth extraction and a wisdom tooth extraction is that an incision is made in the gum for the latter. This will require stitching, which is why wisdom tooth removal is considered to be a surgical procedure.
The procedure may be carried out in a dental office. However, you may be referred to a hospital to have a general anesthetic if you are having all four of your wisdom teeth removed at the same time.
At our office, your wisdom tooth will be removed under local anesthetic or conscious sedation. Although you won’t feel any pain, you will be aware of a sensation of pressure as we widen the tooth socket by rocking your tooth backward and forward. If your tooth is particularly large or impacted, it may be necessary to cut it into smaller pieces to aid removal.
What Is the Recovery Period After Wisdom Tooth Removal?
We will let you know in more detail following your procedure, but generally, if you have had stitches these are typically dissolvable, taking between seven to 10 days. You may be prescribed antibiotics after the extraction of your wisdom tooth, and it may take up to two weeks before you have fully recovered from your surgery.
Immediately following the surgery, it is likely that the site will be bleeding. Gauze will be placed over it, and you will need to keep pressure on it by gently biting down on the gauze for up to an hour to help a blood clot to form.
During this time, you may experience discomforts such as bruising and swelling around the mouth and cheeks. Applying ice packs to the affected area will help to reduce the swelling and make for a speedier recovery.
You will be advised to take things easy after your wisdom tooth extraction, as your body will need time to heal. You can help things along by refraining from drinking alcohol and smoking, both of which have a detrimental effect on the healing process. You should consume only soft foods that do not require chewing, for a couple of days, gradually introducing more solid foods as your mouth heals. Avoid hot liquids which may dislodge any blood clots over the surgical site as these are important in shielding the site from infection.
Find out more about wisdom teeth removal at Smiles of Tulsa. Call us at (918) 891-3059 to schedule an appointment.