June 18, 2023

The Lowdown on Wisdom Teeth: Extraction and Recovery

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last to erupt in the mouth. They typically make their appearance between the ages of 17 and 25. Unfortunately, many individuals experience complications and discomfort associated with wisdom teeth, often leading to their extraction.

Today, let's discuss everything you need about wisdom tooth extraction, from the reasons for removal to the process and recovery period. So, grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let's dive into the world of wisdom tooth extraction!

Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common dental procedure, and there are several reasons why your dentist might recommend it. These include:

1. Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When a wisdom tooth doesn't have enough space to emerge or develop properly, it becomes impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause significant pain, swelling, and infection, making extraction necessary.

2. Crowding

In some cases, wisdom teeth can cause crowding in the mouth, leading to misalignment of other teeth. Removing wisdom teeth can help prevent further dental issues related to crowding.

3. Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

Wisdom teeth, located at the rear of the mouth, are well-known for being challenging to maintain cleanliness. As a result, they may cause gum disease and tooth decay, which could require removal to maintain good oral health.

4. Cysts and Tumours

Although rare, cysts and tumours can develop around impacted wisdom teeth. In these cases, extraction is essential to prevent further complications.

The Extraction Process

Before the removal process, your dentist or oral surgeon will perform a comprehensive evaluation, including X-rays, to determine the location of the wisdom teeth and devise the appropriate procedure. 

Wisdom tooth extraction can be classified into two categories: basic and surgical.

1. Simple Extraction

This process is employed when the wisdom tooth has emerged from the gums. The dentist will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area before utilizing dental tools to loosen and extract the tooth.

2. Surgical Extraction

A surgical extraction is necessary if the wisdom tooth is impacted or hasn't entirely emerged. The surgeon will give a local anesthetic; sometimes, sedation or general anesthesia might be used based on the complexity of the operation and the patient's comfort.

A cut is made in the gum to reveal the tooth and bone. The surgeon might have to take out any bone obstructing the tooth or even break the tooth into tinier fragments for simpler extraction. After the tooth is taken out, the surgeon cleans the spot and sews the cut shut.

Recovery and Aftercare

For the most part, the healing process can be the most challenging. This stage typically takes a few days to a week. 

It is crucial to adhere to the aftercare advice provided by your dentist or oral surgeon during this time to guarantee a trouble-free recovery. Below are some common recommendations:

1. Pain Management

Following the procedure, you might feel some discomfort and notice swelling. You can use non-prescription pain medications and ice packs to ease the pain and decrease inflammation.

2. Bleeding

Some bleeding is normal after tooth extraction. Your dentist will likely provide you with gauze to bite down on, which helps control bleeding and promotes clot formation. If bleeding persists, contact your dentist.

3. Diet

For the initial days following the procedure, it's best to consume soft foods. Steer clear of consuming hot, spicy, and crispy items and refrain from using straws since these actions may interfere with the blood clot and hinder recovery.

4. Oral Hygiene

Keep your mouth clean and practice proper oral care, but be cautious near the area where the tooth was removed. Use warm saltwater to rinse your mouth to promote cleanliness and minimize swelling in the affected region.

5. Rest

Following the procedure, relax and take it easy for several days. Avoid intense activities that could raise blood pressure and delay healing.

Conclusion

Removing wisdom teeth is a typical dental procedure that aids in preventing and tackling numerous oral health problems. 

By comprehending the rationale for removal, the procedure, and the recovery instructions, you can guarantee a seamless and effective experience. 

If you have any worries about your wisdom teeth or the removal process, always seek advice from your dentist or oral surgeon. With the right care and focus, your mouth will return to its normal state in no time!

Dealing with a dental emergency? We can help you! Maple Smiles Dentistry is a dental clinic that provides quality treatments in a state-of-the-art office in Chilliwack. If you’re looking for a reliable dental clinic in Chilliwack, contact us today! Book your appointment online.

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