What are wisdom teeth?
Between the ages of 17 and 25, most people develop a third set of molars that can be a valuable asset if they grow in straight and healthy. However, these teeth are sometimes misaligned or impacted, and require removal.
We can help prevent issues with your oral health in the future by removing problematic wisdom teeth.
What problems can wisdom teeth cause?
When wisdom teeth grow in incorrect positions or there isn't sufficient space for them in the mouth, they can become impacted, crowded, or fail to fully erupt. This can lead to oral health problems as they become inaccessible for cleaning below the gum line. In the case of crowding, it becomes challenging to effectively brush and floss around them.
They can also cause:
- Bad breath
- Swelling in your jaw or face (potentially due to infection)
- In emergency situations: chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath
- Infection (which leads to pain)
- Difficulty chewing, biting or opening your mouth
At Artistic Smiles, we recommend a proactive approach to wisdom teeth removal, as molars, particularly third molars, are more susceptible to dental issues compared to other teeth in your mouth.
What are the benefits of having problematic wisdom teeth removed?
Having your wisdom teeth removed can offer many benefits, including:
- Preventing infection or decay
- Solving issues with bad breath
- Preventing the need for further dental or orthodontic work in the future
- Improving oral health
- Preventing damage to other teeth
- Alleviating or lessening pain in your face and mouth
How will I feel better after having my wisdom teeth removed?
There are many oral health benefits to having your wisdom teeth removed, and the procedure is very common – you'll be eating normally again within a few days. Having this procedure performed now can also save you from experiencing more pain due to impacted wisdom teeth or other issues.
You may also save time and money, as you may not need more time-consuming and costly dental or orthodontic work in years to come, thanks to eliminating the complications wisdom teeth can bring.
What does a wisdom teeth removal procedure involve?
Step 1: Anesthetic
To ensure your comfort during the procedure, your dentist or surgeon will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. If you experience anxiety, they may offer a sedative to help you relax, usually through an injection in your arm. It is important to note that general anesthesia is seldom used, and typically reserved for procedures performed in a hospital setting.
Step 2: Removing the Tooth
If the tooth is still under the gum, a small incision or cut will be made and a tiny piece of the bone over top of the tooth may also be removed. Your dentist or surgeon may cut the tooth into smaller parts so it’s easier to remove through the opening.
If the tooth has emerged through the gum, there will be less need for an incision. Just before the tooth is removed, you’ll feel some pressure as the dentist or surgeon rocks the tooth back and forth, widening the socket, before the tooth is removed.
As your wisdom teeth are actually removed, you shouldn’t feel any pain as the anesthetic will have numbed the area. If this is painful for you, let the dentist or surgeon know so they can provide more anesthetic.
Simple wisdom teeth removal procedures can take up to 20 minutes, with complex procedures running longer.
What about recovery from wisdom teeth removal?
After your procedure, you can typically return home on the same day. Dissolving stitches, if used, usually take about 7 to 10 days to dissolve on their own. In some cases, a piece of gauze may be placed on the extraction site.
You will be advised to apply pressure to the site by gently biting down on the gauze for approximately an hour. This helps a blood clot to form within the empty socket, promoting the healing process. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
For 24 hours after your procedure, you should avoid:
- Drinking hot liquids such as coffee or soup
- Rinsing your mouth out with liquid (which could dislodge the clot)
- Smoking or drinking alcohol (which could result in infection)
- Strenuous physical activity (which may encourage bleeding)
If you notice any problems or extreme soreness after your recovery period, book an appointment with your dentist so they can check the extraction site.