Have you been experiencing discomfort or pain in the back of your mouth? Or perhaps your dentist has recommended that you have your wisdom teeth removed as a preventative measure? Either way, we're here to provide you with all the information you need about wisdom teeth removal.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final set of teeth to develop in our mouths. They typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, when we're considered "wise" enough to handle them! Most people have four wisdom teeth - two on top and two at the bottom - though some individuals may only have one or none at all.
While wisdom teeth can be beneficial for some people if they grow properly aligned with their other teeth and don't cause any issues, more often than not, they create problems. This is because our mouths simply aren't big enough to accommodate these extra molars. As a result, wisdom teeth can become impacted (stuck under the gumline), push against adjacent teeth, causing crowding or damage, or contribute to infections and inflammation.
If left untreated, problematic wisdom teeth can lead to a host of oral health issues that may require more invasive treatments down the line. That's why it's important to consult with your dentist about whether extraction is necessary for you based on your individual situation.
The Wisdom Teeth Removal Process
The wisdom teeth removal process can seem daunting, but it is a routine procedure performed by dentists and oral surgeons. Before the extraction, your dentist will evaluate your mouth and take X-rays to determine if the wisdom teeth are impacted or causing any issues.
On the day of the extraction, you will first receive anesthesia to numb the area around the teeth. Depending on how many teeth need to be removed, you may receive local anesthesia for just that area or general anesthesia to put you asleep during the entire procedure.
Once you are numb or comfortable under sedation, your dentist will begin removing each tooth one at a time using specialized tools designed for this purpose. The dentist may need to make an incision in your gum tissue and remove some bone around the tooth before extracting it completely.
After all necessary extractions have been completed, your dentist will clean out any remaining debris from your mouth and place gauze over each socket to help stop bleeding. You'll then be given aftercare instructions, such as how often to change gauze pads and what foods to avoid while healing.
Wisdom teeth removal doesn't have to be scary or painful as long as you follow proper pre-and post-operative care instructions provided by your dental professional.
Recovery From Wisdom Teeth Removal
After getting your wisdom teeth removed, it's natural to be concerned about the recovery process. The good news is that with proper care and attention, you can make a speedy recovery.
Immediately after your procedure, you will experience some bleeding and swelling in the extraction site. It's important to follow your dentist or oral surgeon's instructions for controlling bleeding by biting down on gauze pads and applying ice packs to reduce swelling.
For pain management, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are typically recommended. Your dentist may also prescribe stronger medication if necessary.
It's crucial to avoid smoking, using straws, or consuming alcohol during the first few days of recovery. These actions could dislodge blood clots that form in the extraction site which can prolong healing time or lead to complications like dry sockets.
As you start feeling better over the next several days following surgery, gradually reintroduce solid foods into your diet while avoiding hard or crunchy foods that could damage the surgical area. Be sure to attend any follow-up appointments scheduled by your dental professional so they can monitor your progress and ensure everything is healing properly.
To learn more, you can get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us, and we'll guide you further. Call (516) 336-4902 to book an appointment at our Hicksville office and (516) 756-0111 for the Farmingdale office.