Wisdom Teeth Removal Fact Sheet
Is that jaw pain driving you up the wall? The thought of getting surgery isn’t exactly appealing but you can’t avoid it forever. Sooner or later you are going to have to deal with your wisdom teeth. In the long run, you’re better off nipping it in the bud. Left too long you can cause serious and permanent damage to your oral health. Don’t worry, the process isn’t that complicated or painful. in this blog, we are laying out the facts about wisdom teeth removal to put you at ease.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are molars that emerge later on in life, usually in your late teens to early twenties. There are usually four that slowly form during your adolesce in the back of your upper and lower jaw. While wisdom teeth are normal and natural, we don’t actually need them. So if they start causing you problems when coming out then you will need to get them removed.
Do I need to get them removed?
Wisdom teeth will need to be removed for several reasons. When there isn’t enough room for them to come through it can move your teeth causing discomfort, pain, decay and misalignment. Sometimes a wisdom tooth will erupt at a bad angle leading to decay, infection and gum disease. If you suspect your wisdom teeth are coming through see your dentist and they can determine if you need to have them removed or not.
You will need to get them taken out if:
- There is an infection
- There is not enough room
- The wisdom tooth is coming through at a bad angle
- There is a risk of disease
When do I get them taken out?
Before your dentist can determine if you need your wisdom teeth removed you’ll need to get an X-ray. Once your dentist can see how far along the wisdom teeth are then you can discuss the next steps. Generally, earlier is better, before your wisdom teeth starts affecting your oral health. In terms of age, most people get them removed around the late teens to mid-twenties because recovery is faster.
Local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia?
Depending on how your wisdom teeth are coming out, you might need to go under general or local anaesthesia. Most of the time you will be under local and you will be awake for the process. For more complicated removals that need a little more finesse, you will need to go under general. This is something you will need to discuss with your dentist and surgeon. If any aspect of anaesthesia concerns you bring it up with them.
How are they removed?
The way wisdom teeth are removed depends on its position. Most extractions will involve an insertion into the gums, widening the socket to remove the tooth and, if necessary, a small part of the bone will be removed. The surgery will take up to 45 minutes and is routine. For more complicated removals you will probably be put under general anaesthesia. Rest assured, your surgeon and dentist will explain exactly how they are going to remove your wisdom teeth.
What should I expect during recovery?
When you are organising your surgery it is a good idea to clear away at least a week for recovery. You will experience swelling, you may look like a hamster for a day or two before the swelling does down. Keep up your fluids… sometimes if you don’t drink enough water you get something called dry socket. This happens when the blood clot covering the exposed bone is dislodged making the wound especially sensitive.
Things to avoid during your recovery:
- Avoid smoking as much as possible. Smoking can cause complications, dry socket and even lead to infection. You should at the very least not smoke twenty-four hours after your surgery.
- Drinking through a straw. The suction you create can dislodge the blood clot and lead to dry socket.
- Eating hard and crunchy foods
- Wash or rinse your mouth the day after the surgery
- Eat hot foods straight over your surgery
- Skip taking your antibiotics
Things you should do:
- An ice pack will help with the swelling
- Eat soft foods that don’t need a lot of chewing like soup
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water at least four times a day
- Keep track of your pain medication and antibiotics
- Write down the recovery instructions your dentist gives you
- Keep an eye out for infection
Getting your wisdom teeth removed can feel overwhelming and a little frightening. Just remember that it is a routine surgery and you’ll be in good hands. If its high time you talked to a dentist about your wisdom teeth, Eden Rise Dental offers wisdom teeth removal. Our friendly staff will be happy to schedule an appointment for you – simply call (03) 9702 6111.