The removal of wisdom teeth is a common necessity, and one that may be done to correct current dental problems or to prevent anticipated ones. Our mouths often have insufficient room for these four teeth to fully break free of the gumline, which can cause chronic gum bleeding and infections. Overcrowding can also result in wisdom teeth damaging our other teeth, and shifting them out of alignment. Fortunately, removal is a safe and routine operation. This is a minor surgical procedure in which patients are sedated and the gum tissue is gently lifted, so that any problematic wisdom teeth can be reached and extracted. Depending on the specific case, some or all may require removal.
Wisdom teeth removal involves the use of anesthesia, usually either general anesthesia (complete unconsciousness, essentially “sleeping”) or intravenous sedation (suppressed consciousness; awake but without pain). It’s important not to eat or drink anything for at least 12 hours before your surgery, as anesthetics can stimulate a vomit reflex. Facial cosmetics and aspirin should also be avoided beforehand. The effects of anesthesia will be pronounced in the first few hours immediately following surgery, with patients feeling very groggy, and unable to safely drive. Plan to have a friend or relative waiting to collect and look after you.
Recovery time is fairly short in typical cases, and most people feel largely back to normal within a week. Your oral surgeon will provide you with gauze pads to take care of any bleeding, and these should be changed as necessary. Bleeding should generally subside within a few hours – contact your dentist if it lasts longer than a day. After wisdom teeth extraction, you’ll be limited to soft foods and fluids for a few days. Most patients experience swelling of the gums and some residual pain or soreness during this time –painkillers are often prescribed to assist with this. Avoid the use of straws and any vigorous nose-blowing, as these can place stress on the small blood clots at the extraction site and possibly loosen them. Maintaining oral hygiene will speed up recovery time, and ice packs can be effective in reducing swelling. Wisdom teeth removal is often recommended by dental practitioners to avoid other health problems when there are impacted or unerupted wisdom teeth. In order to ensure a quick recovery and a problem free surgery, you need to take care to follow all the instructions given by the surgeon. As wisdom teeth are removed under anesthesia you need to follow the pre anesthesia procedures as well. Questions about wisdom teeth removal, or simply looking to schedule a consultation? Contact Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery today.