Wisdom teeth are the third molars and the last teeth to come through and are positioned at the ends of each arch of teeth on the top and bottom jaw. Wisdom teeth do not need to be extracted as a matter of course, but there are some circumstances where it may be advisable.
Although tooth extraction is a common procedure it is often carried out by an oral surgeon, one that specializes in sedation dentistry. This is nothing to be worried about, oral surgeons are simply specialists in these types of procedures and can quickly address your problems to restore your dental health.
Why Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you are not having any problems with your wisdom teeth there is no reason to have them removed. Since they are very large and the last teeth to emerge there may not be enough space for them to come through properly. They may emerge at an angle, get stuck, or cause problems to neighboring teeth. Furthermore, your gums may be affected if food gets trapped, causing gum disease and infection.
Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Removal
The dentist will take an x-ray to determine the exact position of the tooth and its roots in the gum. In most circumstances, the removal of the tooth will be straightforward and can be carried out under a local anesthetic. Occasionally, you may be referred to a hospital to have the tooth removed under a general anesthetic.
What Happens in the Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure?
You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the gums surrounding the tooth. If you are anxious, we can also offer you conscious sedation as well, to help you relax. The tooth will be loosened using special tools, and we may need to make an incision in your gum to access the lower part of the tooth. If the tooth is very large, it may be cut into smaller pieces so it can be removed more easily. Once the tooth is extracted, the area is closed, and the wound will be closed using dissolving stitches.
Recovery and Healing Time
It may take several hours for the numbness in your gums to subside after a local anesthetic. You are likely to feel out-of-sort for a few days after your tooth extraction and may be prescribed antibiotics and pain medication, which you should take as instructed.
A piece of absorbent gauze is likely to be placed over the extraction site which will help to stem the bleeding and encourage a blood clot to form over the wound. You may be asked to bite down gently on this for an hour after your extraction.
Rinse your mouth frequently with a salt-water solution for the first 24 hours and only eat soft foods that do not require any chewing. You can begin to eat solid foods again once your mouth is beginning to heal and you won’t dislodge any blood clots.
You will likely experience swelling and bruising, so applying ice packs regularly to the area, particularly in the first 48 hours, will help. Brush your teeth as best you can, avoiding the extraction site.
If you are in need to get your wisdom teeth removed, we are here to help. Call us at (681) 317-7033 to find out more about wisdom teeth extraction at Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery, located in Charleston, WV.
Our office is proud to offer restorative services including dentures and dental implants!