Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last to develop. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, they typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25.
How Can Wisdom Teeth Affect My Oral Health?
Not all wisdom teeth break through the gums and align neatly inside the mouth, due to space considerations. When there is no room for a tooth, the tooth is said to be "impacted". In addition to becoming impacted due to lack of space, wisdom teeth can become infected or cause damage to other teeth. Again, oral surgery is the solution.
If you have concerns over your wisdom teeth or can feel, and even see, that your wisdom teeth have erupted through your gums, contact our office to set up your tooth extraction appointment. Tooth extraction helps with several conditions including:
- Impacted wisdom teeth.
- Unrestorable teeth.
What to Expect with Wisdom Teeth Removal and General Tooth Extractions
Wisdom teeth removal procedures typically involve several appointments. First, we perform an examination and take x-rays to get a detailed picture of your oral health. From there, the extraction procedure is scheduled. However, if you are in pain due to a dental emergency, a general tooth extraction can be performed right away.
To perform most extractions, Dr. Loy elevates the tooth to loosen it. Once loose, the tooth is easily removed. More complex extractions require other techniques and more time. Sometimes, after surgery, it is necessary to place some sutures. If that is the case, the patient needs to come back in 10 to 15 days to have them removed.
A combination of anesthetics and medications helps ensure clotting is achieved in a short period of time. Many times, a prescription for pain medication is given to the patient in order to minimize any discomfort. Also, instructions are given verbally and in writing on how to take care of the surgical site.
Depending on the number of teeth to be extracted and the complexity of the procedure, downtime is typically limited to less than three days. For simple procedures, you'll feel fine the next day. For more extensive procedures and oral surgery involved in wisdom teeth removal, you may need to take two or three days to recover. We will send you home with care instructions and recommend eating soft foods and liquids due to soreness.
Removing wisdom teeth before the root is fully developed is often easier because the bone is softer and the roots are not attached to the nerve yet. Thus, we may recommend an evaluation to teens and young adults before the wisdom teeth erupt.
What to Expect After the Procedure/Instructions
To slow or prevent bleeding, bite with light pressure on the gauze pack that has been placed over the surgical area. Pressure should be applied for 45 min. continuously, or until the bleeding is brought under control. If bleeding persists without slowing for several hours, apply gauze soaked in strong tea. Repeat the above steps until the bleeding stops. Exercising and heavy lifting will raise your blood pressure and will dislodge the blood clot and bleeding will resume. Avoid exercising for three to five days following the surgery.
To prevent and/or minimize swelling, apply ice packs at 15-minute intervals to the surgical area for 2 hours. After 24 hours, apply warm compresses to the area to relieve swelling. Swelling is a natural part of the healing process and can be expected for 3 days to several weeks depending on the nature and extent of the surgery.
Following most surgical procedures there may or may not be pain, depending on your threshold for pain. You will be provided with medication for discomfort that is appropriate for you. In most cases, a non-narcotic pain regimen is sufficient. If a narcotic was prescribed, follow the directions carefully. If you have any questions about these medications in interacting with other medications you are presently taking, please call our office first, your physician and/or pharmacist.
- DO NOT rinse vigorously for at least 48 hours (2 days) after the surgery.
- DO NOT exercise or do heavy lifting for 3 to 5 days after surgery.
- DO NOT smoke for 72 Hours (3 days)!
- IF POSSIBLE, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth.
- DO brush and floss normally, with special care around the area of extraction. For the first 48 hours (2 days), DO NOT spit. Just let the water flow out of your mouth naturally.
After the extraction, a blood clot will form in the empty tooth socket. The blood clot is needed to seal the area so it can heal. It is important you follow the above instructions because, among other issues, not doing so can keep the blood clot from forming properly, or can get it dislodged, resulting in a dry socket. This is a very painful condition that leaves the bones and nerves exposed and prone to infection.
When Should You Notify the Doctor?
- If you develop a fever.
- If profuse bleeding continues after 3-4 hours of applied pressure.
- If the pain and/or swelling increase after the third day.
- If an oral bandage becomes dislodged prior to the third day.
- If you have an allergic reaction to medications such as:
- Skin rash.
- Elevated temperature.
- Increased and/or erratic heart rate.
- Blurred vision.
Contact Us or call: 904-996-8162