Our Kamloops dentists discuss the issues that wisdom teeth can cause, the benefits of wisdom tooth removal, the procedure, and how this dental surgery can help you feel better.
What are wisdom teeth?
Most people develop a third set of molars between the ages of 17 and 25, which can be a valuable asset if they grow straight and healthy. These teeth, however, are sometimes misaligned or impacted, necessitating extraction.
We can help prevent issues with your oral health in the future by removing problematic wisdom teeth.
What problems can wisdom teeth cause?
Wisdom teeth can become impacted, crowded, or not fully erupt if they emerge in the wrong positions or there isn't enough room for them in your mouth. This can be harmful to your oral health because they are difficult to clean when they are below the gum line. They become difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss properly if they are crowded.
They can also cause:
- Infection (which leads to pain)
- Difficulty chewing, biting or opening your mouth
- Bad breath
- Swelling in your jaw or face (potentially due to infection)
- In emergencies: chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath
We recommend removing wisdom teeth as a preventive measure at Pure Dental because molars (especially third molars) are more susceptible to dental problems than other teeth in your mouth.
What are the benefits of having problematic wisdom teeth removed?
Having your wisdom teeth removed can offer many benefits, including:
- Preventing infection or decay
- Preventing damage to other teeth
- Alleviating or lessening pain in your face and mouth
- Solving issues with bad breath
- Preventing the need for further dental or orthodontic work in the future
- Improving oral health
How will I feel better after having my wisdom teeth removed?
There are numerous oral health benefits to having your wisdom teeth removed, and the procedure is relatively simple; you'll be able to eat normally again in a matter of days. This procedure can also prevent you from experiencing additional pain as a result of impacted wisdom teeth or other issues.
You may also save time and money in the long run by avoiding the complications that wisdom teeth can cause, as you may not need more time-consuming and costly dental or orthodontic work in the future.
What does a wisdom teeth removal procedure involve?
Here are the steps in a typical wisdom teeth removal procedure.
Step 1: Anesthetic
To begin, a local anesthetic will be applied to the tooth and surrounding area to numb it. If you are particularly nervous about your procedure, your dentist or surgeon may administer a sedative, usually through an injection in the arm, to help you relax. Usually, only in cases where the procedure is completed in a hospital is a general anesthetic used.
Step 2: Removing the Tooth
If the tooth is still under the gum, a small incision or cut will be made, and a small piece of bone over the tooth will be removed as well. The tooth may be cut into smaller pieces by your dentist or surgeon to make it easier to remove through the opening.
There will be less of a need for an incision if the tooth has emerged through the gum. You will feel some pressure as the dentist or surgeon rocks the tooth back and forth, widening the socket, just before the tooth is extracted.
You should not experience any pain because the anesthetic has numbed the area where your wisdom teeth were removed. If this is causing you pain, inform the dentist or surgeon so that more anesthetic can be administered.
Simple wisdom teeth removal procedures can take up to 20 minutes, approximately, with complex procedures running longer.
What about recovery from wisdom teeth removal?
You should be able to go home the same day as your procedure. Dissolving stitches usually take between 7 and 10 days to dissolve, and a piece of gauze may be applied to the extraction site.
You'll be asked to bite your jaws together for about an hour to keep pressure on it. This encourages the healing process by allowing a blood clot to form within the empty socket. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat an infection.
For 24 hours after your procedure, you should avoid:
- Drinking hot liquids such as coffee or soup
- Rinsing your mouth out with liquid (which could dislodge the clot)
- Smoking or drinking alcohol (which could result in infection)
- Strenuous physical activity (which may encourage bleeding)
If you notice any problems or extreme soreness after your recovery period, book an appointment with your dentist so they can check the extraction site.