Wisdom Teeth Removal – Procedure, Recovery, and Expectations

Wisdom teeth are the four molars located at the corners of your upper and lower jaw. Wisdom teeth extraction is performed if there is a damaged gum tissue on one or more teeth in your mouth. The procedure takes place in an oral dentist’s office, and the recovery period is after a few days, then you are back to normal.

When Do You Need a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to erupt in the mouth, appearing between ages 17 and 25. Some people don’t develop their third molars at all. This set of teeth can erupt normally in some people, while some don’t have enough space to contain them, leading to complications.

At Warm Family Dentistry, your wisdom teeth are first examined using x-rays before removal to check for infections. The following are some of the reasons people get wisdom teeth removal;

  • Impacted Teeth – There is a possibility of wisdom teeth being trapped inside the jawbone as they erupt. This can be painful and will need the removal of the defective tooth
  • Wrong angle – Sometimes, these teeth erupt and press against the adjacent molars causing constant teeth pain and chills. This might necessitate removal.
  • Inadequate mouth space – If your jaw doesn’t have enough room to accommodate new teeth, it could prompt removal of an erupted wisdom tooth.
  • Dental caries and gum disease – It might be impossible to reach your wisdom teeth for brushing or flossing if you have oral infections. Here an extraction is inevitable.
  • Crowded other teeth – If the rest of your dental formula is crowded, then the development of new teeth is rather unwelcome. The supernumerary teeth, in this case, the new wisdom teeth will have to be removed.

When to Consider a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Salt Lake City dentists recommend wisdom tooth extraction if the following signs are noted around the tooth area.

  • Chilled pain
  • If food is being trapped at the back of wisdom teeth
  • Damaged gum tissue around wisdom teeth
  • Tooth decay in an impacted tooth
  • Bone damage or infection on an adjacent tooth
  • Abscesses and cyst sacs on wisdom teeth
  • Effects of braces, dentures and other prostheses

We advise you to consult with your dentist or oral doctor at Warm Family Dentistry about the severity of the situation. They will determine if a tooth extraction procedure is necessary or give an alternative therapy.

Basic Procedure for Extraction

A small cut is made on the gum to access the tooth if it hasn’t yet erupted through the gum. Your jawbone, too, might be truncated to access more teeth. Your oral surgeon might divide the tooth into small portions to simplify the extraction process.

Before the third molar is removed, there’s a need to enlarge your tooth socket by shaking the tooth in a rocking motion before detaching it. During this act, you might feel some pressure around the area. There shouldn’t be any pain, though, as you will be treated with anesthesia before the procedure begins.

Simple surgery procedures can take a few minutes, while some can take more than 20 minutes. It varies with your surgeon and the severity of the problem.

If your dentist had made an incision, he/she seals the gum with dissolving stitches. They will dissolve in 7 to 10 days after the treatment. The dentist can place a gauze over the extraction area and ask you to apply pressure on it for about an hour. This allows the formation of a blood clot in the empty cavity left. It’s advisable not to dislodge clots as they are part of the healing process.

Antibiotics might be recommended if you have an underlying infection, such as mild tooth decay.

After The Procedure

Although people respond differently to anesthesia, you should be able to drive home after the procedure. It’s possible for the anesthesia to cause drowsiness, in which case you need to be driven home. You might experience pain and minor discomfort for the first three days. To completely heal, the mouth might take up to 3 days.

Here are a few tips for quicker recovery.

  • To prevent swelling and skin discoloration, hold an ice pack against the cheek area
  • Massage with moist heat if your jaw becomes sore
  • Exercise the jaw by opening and closing your mouth gently
  • Eat soft foods such as pasta, yogurt, rice, soup, etc.
  • Ensure a heavy fluid intake
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions and take all prescribed drugs

Things Not to Do

  • Avoid using a straw for drinking as sucking might loosen healing clots
  • Don’t harshly rinse your mouth to avoid damaging the healing process
  • Avoid hard, crunchy and chewy foods likely to harm your wounds
  • Don’t smoke or take alcohol. They slow down the healing process.