What To Expect From A Wisdom Tooth Extraction
So you need to get your wisdom teeth removed. You’ve probably heard that this can be a painful process, but the truth is the process itself is actually the opposite. With advances in local and general anaesthesia, the procedure itself is quite painless as you’ll either be asleep or numb in the area being operated on.
Wisdom teeth are easiest to remove in teenagers and young adults and tend to become more difficult and riskier for adults as there are more complications that can arise during and after the surgery. Our Berwick dental clinic has compiled a guide on what you should expect when having a wisdom tooth – or teeth – extracted.
Where does the extraction take place?
Depending on the circumstances, the extraction may be able to occur at the dental clinic. This would primarily be in simpler occasions where you will be put under local anaesthesia and only a single tooth would need to be removed. For more complex situations, however – like if the tooth is deeply impacted – you’ll be referred to an oral surgeon specialist and the surgery will be performed in a hospital, typically under general anaesthesia.
Preparing for the extraction
When it comes to meeting with the surgeon prior to the extraction, there are some things that you should consider asking to further your knowledge of the procedure. Some of these questions include:
- How many wisdom teeth need to be removed?
- How long will the procedure run for?
- Is nerve damage likely to occur?
- Have any surrounding teeth been damaged already?
- What type of anaesthesia will be used?
- Approximately how long will the healing process be?
At the end of the day, each case is unique, and the answers will vary so it’s important to get this information directly from the surgeon performing the procedure beforehand.
Make a checklist for the day before the operation
Make sure you have someone to drive you home after the procedure is complete. Very rarely will patients be required to stay overnight, so you’ll be in and out within the same day. If you take any over-the-counter medication, double check that you’re able to take it before such a procedure.
The actual procedure
Once you’re in and anaesthesia is administered, the surgeon will begin. In a simple wisdom tooth extraction case, the tooth is removed in a similar fashion in which a normal tooth is removed. The tooth socket will be widened using dental forceps and other instruments and the tooth will be moved from side to side gently until it’s ready to be removed completely.
When a wisdom tooth is deeply impacted however, the approach changes. An incision in the gum is made to assist with the extraction. Some bone may also be removed if need be. The incision is then mended with stitches that will dissolve in ten days’ time. On average, a wisdom tooth extraction procedure will take anywhere between 30 – 60 minutes.
Dealing with the aftermath
Your mouth will be very numb when you wake up. You will be given painkillers to take for the first-week post-surgery. As the numbness wears off – which will take around a day or so – you will start to feel quite sore.
The following things are some of the symptoms that will follow, as well as some tips on how to deal with the pain:
- Swelling will occur so it’s important to keep ice packs wrapped around your head at all times to minimise the swelling as much as possible. This should ease up within five or so days.
- Bleeding is common and you shouldn’t panic if you do find blood in your mouth.
- Try not to touch your tongue to where your wisdom teeth used to be as it will hurt. If you have stitches, then you could damage them with your tongue inadvertently before they’ve done their job.
- Stay away from hot/spicy foods and solid foods as you will not be able to chew them properly with your front teeth alone, and it will hurt to close your jaw for a time.
- You will need to start gently brushing your teeth and where the wisdom tooth/teeth used to be approximately a week after the surgery to ensure the area is clean. Gargling warm salt water will help kill any bacteria as well if it’s still too sore to brush.
Do you need a dental clinic in Berwick?
Eden Rise Dental is a family-friendly dental clinic in Berwick that specialises in a wide variety of dental services. Our highly qualified dentists have had years of experience and are happy to tend to whatever dental problem you’re experiencing.
If you think you may need a wisdom tooth extracted, then please give our Berwick dental clinic a call on (03) 9702 6111 or contact us through our website here.