Wisdom teeth are your third molars. In most people, they do not erupt into the mouth. If left alone, they can cause problems like impaction, infection, tooth misalignment, and adjacent teeth damage.
For these reasons, oral surgeons often recommend the extraction of wisdom teeth. This process seems intimidating to many patients, but it is generally a simple surgery with few side effects.
This blog will explain why wisdom teeth often need removal and explain the process.
About Wisdom Teeth Removal
Not every patient needs to have their wisdom teeth out, but many patients choose to do the procedure preventively. Dentists typically evaluate patients' wisdom teeth in their mid-to-late teens. At this time, patients will receive a referral to an oral surgeon. By this time, the dentist can see whether the wisdom teeth are likely to cause problems and are good candidates for removal.
Wisdom teeth may cause problems in the mouth if patients do not have them extracted at a relatively young age. They may become impacted, meaning they can't erupt into the mouth. They may make the teeth overcrowded, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. They could become infected, leading to bad breath, difficulty chewing, and pain.
Waiting until wisdom teeth removal becomes an emergency means the surgery will be more complex and the recovery will be longer. In addition, patients in their thirties and forties have a considerably more difficult time recovering from wisdom teeth surgery.
The Process of Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Before surgery, you can choose IV sedation or general anesthesia. When combined with local anesthetics, anesthesia will make your appointment comfortable.
After you are comfortable, the oral surgeon makes an incision in the gum and removes any bone that interferes with tooth removal. If the tooth will be easier to remove in pieces, the oral surgeon divides it. Using dental forceps, the oral surgeon takes out the tooth. They clean the socket to prevent infection and stitch the gums closed.
When you emerge from anesthesia, you will have gauze over your tooth extraction site to help it heal.
After your anesthesia wears off, you will be sent home with a responsible adult. You may experience bleeding during the first 24 hours after surgery. Do not spit frequently, or you may disturb the blood clot in your socket.
You may have swelling and bruising on your face and jaw. Use an ice pack to control the swelling.
You may receive prescription pain medication, especially if you had bone removed to help the surgeon access the tooth. Otherwise, you can use over-the-counter medication.
Follow the oral surgeon's instructions on what to eat and drink and how to care for yourself during recovery.
Call Rio Grande Oral Surgery
If your dentist informed you that your wisdom teeth need to come out, call an expert oral surgeon for help. Call our Albuquerque, NM office at 505-821-2111 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.