The dentists at Academy Dental Group in Winnipeg talk to you about the issues wisdom teeth create, the benefits of having them removed, what happens during the removal procedure and how having your wisdom teeth removed can make you feel better.
What are wisdom teeth?
When the majority of people are between the ages of 17 and 25 they develop a third set of molars that can be a valuable asset if they grow in the right way. However, sometimes these teeth become impacted or misaligned needing to be removed.
Our dentists at Academy Dental Group are able to help prevent the future oral health problems wisdom teeth cause by removing them.
What issues can wisdom teeth cause?
If wisdom teeth grow in the wrong positions or if your mouth doesn't have enough room for them, they can become crowded, impacted, or not emerge fully. This can create oral health issues as they are impossible to clean when they stay below the gum line. If they are crowded, they become difficult to reach with a toothbrush or dental floss.
They can also cause the following problems:
- Bad breath
- Infection (which leads to pain)
- Swelling in your jaw or face (potentially due to infection)
- Difficulty chewing, biting or opening your mouth
- In emergency situations: chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath
At Academy Dental Group, we reccomend taking a preventive approach to removing wisdom teeth, since molars (especially third molars) are more vulnerable to dental problems than other teeth in your mouth.
What are the benefits of having troublesome wisdom teeth removed?
Having your wisdom teeth removed can offer many benefits, including:
- Improving oral health
- Preventing damage to other teeth
- Preventing infection or decay
- Solving issues with bad breath
- Preventing the need for further dental or orthodontic work in the future
- Alleviating or lessening pain in your face and mouth
How will I feel better after my wisdom teeth are removed?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure that has many benefits to your oral health, you will even be eating normally again within a few days. Having this procedure performed now can also save you from experiencing more pain due to impacted wisdom teeth or other issues.
You could also save time and money, as you may not need more time-consuming and costly dental or orthodontic work in years to come, thanks to eliminating the complications wisdom teeth can bring.
What does wisdom teeth removal involve?
Step 1: Anesthetic
First, local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and surrounding area. If you are particularly anxious about your procedure, your dentist or surgeon may provide a sedative to help you relax, usually with an injection to the arm. General anesthetic is rarely used - only in instances where the procedure is completed in a hospital.
Step 2: Removing the Tooth
If your wisdom tooth is still under the gum, your dentist will make a small incision or cut. A tiny piece of the bone over top of the tooth might also be removed. Your dentist or surgeon may cut the tooth into smaller parts so it’s easier to remove through the opening.
If the tooth has emerged through the gum, there will be less need for an incision. Just before the tooth is removed, you’ll feel some pressure as the dentist or surgeon rocks the tooth back and forth, widening the socket, before the tooth is removed.
As your wisdom teeth are actually removed, you shouldn’t feel any pain as the anesthetic will have numbed the area. If this is painful for you, let the dentist or surgeon know so they can provide more anesthetic.
Simple wisdom teeth removal procedures can take up to 20 minutes, complex procedures will run longer.
What about recovery from wisdom teeth removal?
You should be able to go home the same day as your procedure. Dissolving stitches usually take between 7 and 10 days to dissolve, and a piece of gauze may be applied to the extraction site.
Your dentist will ask you to keep pressure on it by biting your jaws together for approximately an hour, allowing a blood clot to form within the empty socket. This encourages the healing process. You might be prescribed antibiotics for infection.
For 24 hours after your procedure, you should avoid:
- Drinking hot liquids such as coffee or soup
- Smoking or drinking alcohol (which could result in infection)
- Strenuous physical activity (which may encourage bleeding)
- Rinsing your mouth out with liquid (which could dislodge the clot)
If you experience any problems or extreme soreness after your recovery period, schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can examine the extraction site.