When your wisdom teeth start to grow in, it can lead to serious pain and infections. Problems with wisdom teeth generally develop between the ages of 15 and 25, but most wisdom teeth usually come in between the ages of 17 and 21. According to a recent study, 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year from 5 million people. If your dentist or periodontist believes that you may need wisdom teeth removal surgery, here’s what you can expect during the procedure.
Wisdom teeth removal is an oral surgery procedure that is typically done in the office of your doctor or oral surgeon. The first step in removing the wisdom teeth is to have a deep cleaning. This ensures that your mouth is free of any potentially harmful bacteria, which can lead to infection. Your surgeon will most likely recommend that you do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure, so be sure to plan accordingly.
During the wisdom teeth removal procedure, you will either needed to numb the pain with anesthesia or be put to sleep. There are three different types of anesthesia that your doctor may provide: local, IV, or general. Local anesthesia numbs your mouth by using a shot directly into the gum, or laughing gas. You will be awake during the procedure. With IV sedation, the surgeon will give you sedatives through an IV tube inserted into your arm. This will likely make you sleepy, and you may sleep through the procedure. General anesthesia is given to patients who need to be put to sleep during the procedure. The team will also monitor your medication, breathing, temperature, and other vitals.
The surgeon will make a cut into the gum, exposing the tooth and bone. They will then remove any bone that blocks the tooth root. Often, the tooth is divided into multiple sections, making it easier to remove in small pieces. Once the tooth is removed, the mouth is cleaned and stitched closed. Gauze is placed over the extraction site, which helps control bleedings and promotes a blood clot. The entire process will last about 45 minutes.
After the procedure, a patient can expect a few symptoms. Do not try to drive or go to work right away if you’ve been given pain medications. Most people have little pain after the surgery, and there may be some swelling and minor pain for about three days. Dentist recommend that patients use ice packs to reduce swelling, eat soft foods such as pasta or soup, and drink plenty of fluids. Most patients fully recover in less than a week.
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