Wisdom Teeth Removal: Process, After Care, and Recovery Time

Many people freak out when they find out that they have to have a tooth removed but it is even scarier for them when they find out it a wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars that will appear later in your life from the age of sixteen and on. There are some cases in which they do not appear at all. They are called wisdom teeth because if you get them it is later in life when you are “wiser and older.”

Reasons to Remove them

Your dentist may recommend that you have them removed if you have a small jaw and would not be able to accommodate the wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth will erupt out of the skin slower than your other teeth did, which can cause a small piece of gum tissue to grow over the wisdom teeth. If this happens food particles may get caught in this flap and cause infection and will probably require having them removed.

They could erupt at different angles and put some pressure on the teeth that are surrounding the wisdom tooth so it will have to be removed.

Surgical Removal of Wisdom Teeth

When you have your wisdom teeth removed it is usually done surgically. Before they are removed you will be give a local anesthetic. It will not put your to sleep but just make the area numb. If you are going to have them all removed at once you may be given a general anesthetic, which will make you go to sleep. Depending on the dentist you may have to spend the night at the hospital.

Before anything is done, the dentist will take an X-ray to see if any of the teeth are impacted. During the surgical procedure the dentist will move the gum tissue that surrounds the wisdom tooth and any bone that may cover the tooth. Once the dentist has separated the tooth from bone and gum, it is removed. For easier removal the dentist may have to break the wisdom tooth into littler pieces.

Depending on what the dentist had to do to get the wisdom tooth out, you may need stitches. The stitches may be ones that have to be removed by the dentist in a few days or it could the dissolvable ones that will dissolve over time. At the end of the procedure the dentist will put over the removed tooth area a cotton gauze pad to help stop the bleeding.

Care after the Procedure

Your mouth is going to be numb for awhile after the procedure so be careful that you do not bite your tongue, lip, or the inside of your cheek.

Bite on the cotton gauze pad to help stop the bleeding. When it becomes soaked with blood change it to a new one. It is common to have some bleeding but continues for an extended period of time or appears to be bleeding more, call the dentist immediately.

To prevent more bleeding do not lie flat on the bed. You should take it easy and rest and avoid over exertion.

To help reduce the pain and swelling apply an ice pack on your cheek for the first twenty-four hours and then a moist washcloth that has been heated for then next peeling nails two days.

Avoid drinking liquids with straw, hot liquids, and smoking for the first twenty-four hours as doing any of these can cause the blot clot over the extracted wisdom tooth to loosen.

Eat soft foods like soup, apple sauce, or pudding for the first few days after surgery and slowly reintroduce solid foods back into your diet.

Do not rub or touch the area with your tongue or finger.

Brush your tongue and teeth but do it carefully and gently.

Average Recovery Time

The average recovery time is three days but it can vary according to the complexity of the removal of the wisdom tooth.