Guide to Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that are located in the back of your mouth- usually appearing between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth are usually spotted on X-rays, and extraction or removal may be recommended by your dentist for one or more reasons.

Reasons for Wisdom Teeth removal

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Photo 1. The wisdom tooth often causes pain even after the growth is completed.

Here’s why you might consider wisdom teeth removal:

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Photo 2. The tooth of wisdom grow at the wrong angle.

Preparing for Surgery

Your dentist may use local anesthetic to numb the area of your mouth where the teeth are located, but in cases where both teeth are to be extracted at the same time, it’s more likely that general anesthesia or IV sedation will be used. General anesthesia numbs the whole body so that you sleep through the entire procedure, and your dentist may recommend that you don’t eat or drink anything for a number of hours before surgery as a way to prepare for the anesthesia.

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Photo 3. Anesthesia is especially important when removing a wisdom tooth.

 

An appointment is usually set between doctor and patient to discuss the surgery. At this meeting, make sure to:

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Photo 4. Do not hesitate to ask your dentist questions about the procedure.

Wisdom teeth removal

The process may take 45 minutes or an hour and during surgery the doctor may have to cut gums or bone in order to get the teeth out. If that’s the case, the wounds will be stitched shut so they heal faster. The stitches used will dissolve in the mouth after a few days, and gauze pads may be stuffed in the mouth to soak up blood.

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Photo 5. With sufficient preparation removal of wisdom teeth will pass quickly and painlessly.

What to expect after surgery

People react differently to anesthesia. If the doctor only used local anesthesia and you feel strong and clear-minded after the procedure, you may be allowed to drive home by yourself to begin recover. Pain is not uncommon but it’s unlikely. You will likely have swelling a mild discomfort for a few days after surgery, and it may take a few weeks for your mouth to heal completely. During this recovery time, your doctor may recommend some dos and don’ts.

Dos:

Don’ts:

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Photo 6. Removed wisdom teeth.

How effective is the procedure

Wisdom teeth removal prevents any number of problems and is effective in dealing with impacted teeth, crowding at the back of the mouth, gum disease in the area of the wisdom tooth, and red, swollen gums. 

Risks associated with surgery

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Photo 7. There may be pain after the anesthetic effect ceases.

As is the case with any medical procedure, there are a few risks- which your doctor should elaborate in detail, but most patients handle them well. The most unpleasant experiences involve pain and swelling in the gums after extraction, bleeding, relentless pain, and slow-healing gums. Damage to existing dental work is unlikely but in case it happens you should report it immediately and consult another dentist if necessary. 

Dental surgery has been known to cause bacterial infections in the mouth and other parts of the body if bacteria travel through the blood. Your doctor will advise you on whether there’s a need to take antibiotics after surgery. 

Considerations

Some people never have problems with their wisdom teeth, but it’s worth considering if you are experiencing problems. Individuals who are older than 30 are not likely to start experiencing problems. Medial insurance may not always cover wisdom teeth removal, so consult with your insurer to understand terms of payment.

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Photo 8. Removing unwanted wisdom teeth can regain good health and peace of mind.

Video: How a wisdom tooth is removed

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