Wisdom tooth removal is a dental surgery that involves removing third molars that cause complications (pain, lack of space, cavities, infections) and major discomfort.
Signs you need to a have a wisdom tooth extracted
Dentists extract wisdom teeth that cause problems for the patient:
- If they grow in an uncontrolled way due to lack of space and cause the other teeth to move.
- If they are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and become a breeding ground for bacteria, causing a high risk of cavity.
- If the gum tissue around the teeth of wisdom is swollen and infected (pericoronitis).
They are not routinely removed as a preventive measure, except in teenagers as part of orthodontic care before root growth is complete. They are usually removed between the ages of 20 and 25.
How the procedure works
Wisdom tooth removal is an outpatient operation in the form of local anaesthetics or, in exceptional cases, general anaesthetics, if requested by the patient. It typically takes between 15 to 30 minutes per tooth.
The dentist will extract all four wisdom teeth in one session or two sessions (two per side) with an interval of between two and three weeks.
- If the wisdom teeth are non-impacted, they are taken out with pliers.
- If the teeth are semi-impacted, the dentist may make a slight incision in the gum and then mill the bone. If the tooth is too big, it will be broken into bits until it is extracted. Once the tooth is extracted, the dentist will stitch up the gum with absorbable suture.
It is often difficult to remove wisdom teeth from the lower jaw because it includes deep roots that come into contact with the lower alveolar nerve that regulates the sensitivity of the lower lip and the chin, or the lingual nerve that controls the sensitivity of the tongue.
To reduce the chance of temporary or irreversible loss of sensation, the dentist will perform a scan or x-ray prior to surgery.
Your cheeks are going to be puffy, particularly when you wake up. The best remedy for this is to apply an ice pack for 30 minutes, then take a 30-minute break, and continue to do so for the first 24 hours. An anti-inflammatory to minimize swelling can also be recommended by the dentist.
If the patient experiences moderate pain, analgesics and steroids should be taken.
The dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to avoid the risk of infection.
It is not rare for a haematoma to appear from the cheek to the neck.
If the gums bleed slightly, the patient should put on a sterile compress and bite it for about ten minutes.
It is also advisable to:
- Don't use mouthwash on the first day.
- To eat soft food and drink room-temperature drinks on the first day.
- To maintain good oral hygiene habits by brushing your teeth very gently.
- Don't smoke.
It is recommended to wait:
- Two or three days before doing a gentle workout and getting back to work.
- One week before undertaking normal physical activity.
- Two weeks before you do intense exercise and eat normally.
Your cheeks will be puffy, especially when you wake up. The best solution for this is to apply an ice pack for 30 minutes, then take a 30-minute break, and continue doing this for the first 24 hours. The dentist may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory to reduce the swelling.
If the patient feels mild pain, they should take analgesics and steroids.
The dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent the risk of infection.
It is not uncommon for a haematoma to appear from the cheek to the neck.
If the gums bleed slightly, the patient can put a sterile compress on and bite it for about ten minutes.
It is also advisable:
- Not to use mouthwash on the first day.
- To eat soft food and drink room-temperature drinks the first day.
- To keep up good mouth hygiene practices by brushing your teeth very gently.
- Not to smoke.
It is advisable to wait:
- Two to three days before doing gentle exercise and returning to work.
- One week before carrying out normal physical activity.
- Two weeks before doing intense exercise and eating normally.