Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars that usually form inside a person’s mouth in their teens. Under certain circumstances, these teeth are subject to removal.
Though many people have heard of and, in some cases, fear the prospect of wisdom tooth removal, few people are aware of the specific associated process. The following brief aims to inform people the events that will transpire before, during and after this procedure occurs.
Wisdom teeth may be removed for any number of reasons. Amongst the most common reasons said dental structures must be removed is because they become misaligned, which can damage other teeth, place undue pressure on the gums and adjacent nerves and precipitate oral and jaw deformities. Wisdom teeth are also more prone to becoming impacted (infected), which could result in pain, swelling and an inability chew or speak properly. Moreover, the wisdom teeth are more difficult to properly maintain, which could render them more susceptible to decay or damage.
Wisdom tooth extraction is typically performed by a dentist or specialized oral surgeon. The extent of the surgery will depend upon several factors such as how close said teeth are to the gums and the proportion of their misalignment. In most cases, however, the total procedure usually lasts about one hour or less.
Before beginning the procedure, the oral care professional in question will first numb your mouth with anesthetics like Novocaine and provide the patient with sedation such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or some other sedative-inducing substance. In certain instances, the administered sedative might elicit pronounced drowsiness that results in the patient sleeping through the procedure.
In most instances, the procedure is performed without a hitch. However, like any other surgical undertaking, there can be associated risks including nerve damage, allergic reactions to anesthesia, pain or numbness.
Immediately following the surgery, the patient will usually be given time to allow anesthetic impact to wear off before exiting the office or clinic where the procedure was performed. In most cases, it is advisable for the patient to arrange for transportation home as said individual might be too woozy or drowsy to operate a motor vehicle.
Most patients will experience swelling for several days after the procedure. Some people might be able to return to work right away. However, others might need a day or two to completely recover. The recipient’s mouth might need several weeks to fully heal, which means said individuals should consume soft foods and likely limit speaking until the healing process is completed. Many oral care professionals encourage recipients to receive follow-up care in the days and weeks following the surgery and promprtly report any lingering pain or other untoward symptoms.