Wisdom Teeth Extraction: What to Expect Before, During, and After Surgery
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are usually the last teeth to erupt in the mouth and can cause a variety of dental problems. They often emerge in adolescence or early adulthood and can create issues such as overcrowding or impacted teeth, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Extraction is typically recommended by dentists to promote oral health and prevent future dental problems. However, the thought of wisdom teeth extraction can be nerve-wracking for many patients. Thus, it is important to understand the process of wisdom teeth extraction and how to prepare for it. In this blog, we will be discussing what to expect before, during, and after surgery.
Before undergoing wisdom teeth extraction, it is crucial to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. During this appointment, the surgeon will examine your medical history and dental x-rays to determine the best course of action for you. They will also discuss anesthesia options, such as local anesthesia, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. It is important to disclose any health concerns, medications, or allergies you have to ensure your safety during the procedure.
After consulting with your oral surgeon, you may need to plan time off from work or school for recovery. This is because it can take several days to recover from surgery, depending on the number of teeth being extracted. Additionally, steps such as fasting before the surgery and arranging transportation to and from the appointment should be planned in advance.
The procedure for wisdom teeth extraction is typically straightforward, and it can be performed in the oral surgeon’s office or a hospital setting. The surgeon will administer anesthesia according to the discussed plan, and the surgery usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour. Three common anesthesia options for wisdom teeth extraction are:
1. Local Anesthesia – numbs the area around the tooth that is being extracted
2. Intravenous (IV) sedation – makes you drowsy and reduces your awareness of the procedure
3. General Anesthesia – puts you completely to sleep
The surgeon will then remove the tooth by making an incision in your gums and removing any bone blocking the tooth. After the tooth has been removed, the area is cleaned, and a gauze pad is placed over the site to control the bleeding.
After the surgery, the oral surgeon will give you specific instructions for managing pain and swelling. It is common to experience some discomfort after surgery as your body heals, but keeping the area clean and taking prescribed pain medications can help. In addition, it is essential to follow a soft-food diet for several days after the surgery and to avoid chewing near the extraction site. Failing to follow the oral surgeon’s instructions can increase the risk of complications such as dry socket, infection, or bleeding, which can significantly prolong the healing process.
Wisdom teeth extraction is a common dental procedure that many patients undergo in adolescence or early adulthood. It is crucial to consult an oral surgeon and carefully prepare for the procedure to ensure its success. Following the oral surgeon’s instructions for post-surgery care, such as managing pain and swelling and following a soft-food diet, is equally important to promote proper healing. In conclusion, wisdom teeth extraction can help prevent future dental problems and promote oral health, and by following the outlined process, you can ensure a smooth and successful procedure.