Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to emerge, two on the bottom and two on the top. They are molars and don’t really serve a purpose. They emerge between the ages of 17 and 25 in most cases and line up behind the second molars. If the teeth emerge cleanly, there is no problem and you can just carry on with your regular dental hygiene. However, if the teeth are impacted or only emerge partially, you may need to visit a dentist for wisdom teeth removal.
When Do You Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Many people don’t need any sort of medical intervention when their wisdom teeth emerge. They emerge completely and don’t cause much trouble. However, many also have to deal with something called ‘impacted teeth.’ Impacted teeth have only partially emerged, with a portion of the tooth still in the gum and a portion outside it.
This doesn’t always cause problems but can create a vulnerability. Impacted teeth are more prone to tooth decay and gum problems because it isn’t easy to clean the area efficiently. Even if you don’t suffer any symptoms of a damaged wisdom tooth, it is a good idea to get wisdom tooth surgery to avoid future problems.
You must absolutely visit your dentist if you experience the following:
- Jaw pain
- Bleeding gums
- Aches and tenderness in the gums
- Redness and/or swelling
- Bad breath
- Issues with opening and closing your mouth
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
These are often the symptoms of wisdom tooth issues, especially if there are originating from the general area around the wisdom teeth. Getting wisdom teeth removed is the best way to handle this problem.
Complications Stemming from Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Many people are content to ignore their wisdom teeth if they don’t feel any pain or problems in the area. However, most experts always recommend wisdom tooth extraction if the tooth is impacted. Here are some of the complications you may face:
- Impact on Other Teeth – There is very little spare room in your mouth and if an impacted tooth is growing in the wrong direction, it can impact your second molars and cause crowding, which comes with its own set of problems.
- Cysts – The impacted tooth forms a sack underneath the gum layer and in your jaw. This can fill up with pus and fluids, causing considerable damage to the gums, teeth, and jawbone. Treating this often requires removing substantial material from the area.
- Decay in Impacted Tooth – As mentioned before, cleaning the area can be very difficult, which means the impacted tooth is at a higher risk of decay. Food particles and bacteria can become trapped there and cause problems.
Some patients can also develop gum disease, which is why dentists always recommend wisdom teeth extraction.
Before and After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Many patients feel anxious regarding their wisdom teeth removal surgery and don’t know what to expect. Here’s a look at what you need to do before and after the procedure:
1. Before Wisdom Tooth Removal
Before your wisdom tooth is removed, you need to follow the instructions provided by your doctor keenly. These instructions may include:
- No eating after midnight before the surgery to ensure you’re not getting anesthesia in a full stomach, which can lead to nausea.
- Avoid any over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication and let your dentist know if you have taken them. This also includes any recreational drug or alcohol.
- Don’t smoke for at least 12 hours before the surgery.
- Keep stock of soft food items like smoothies, ice cream, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, etc.
- Wear comfortable clothes and remove any accessories and makeup. People with long hair should pull their hair back up.
- Make sure there’s someone accompanying you to the appointment and can make sure you can reach home safely after wisdom tooth removal.
- Don’t wear contact lenses, wear your eyeglasses instead.
Make sure you have a comfortable room set up in your home for wisdom tooth surgery recovery. You will need a few days of rest to have a relatively pain-free journey.
2. After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Once the extract process is complete, you need to take a few precautions to avoid complications. Here’s a look at some dos and don’ts after wisdom tooth extraction:
- Don’t rush off to work or do chores immediately after the procedure. Relax and recover for a couple of days before slowly returning to your everyday activities.
- Keep your head elevated when you sleep as that will help with the swelling.
- Use an ice pack for around 24-48 hours post the surgery to reduce pain and swelling.
- When using an icepack, place it on for 15 minutes and off for 15 minutes. Do this every 1 or 2 hours.
- Bite down on the cotton gauze applied as that will help minimize the bleeding.
- Keep your mouth clean by following the dentist’s instructions and gargling with a salt-water solution once a day.
- Limit your intake to soft food and liquids for a few days.
- Eat meals on the other side of your mouth to avoid any pain and ensure the wound heals properly.
- Exercise your jaw to release tension and strain. Do this only a day or so after the extraction.
- Drink water and remain hydrated. Avoid using a straw.
- Take all prescribed medication according to the doctor’s advice.
- Don’t eat or drink immediately post wisdom teeth surgery.
- Don’t take Aspirin as it is a blood thinner and will hinder your healing.
- Stop icing around 48 hours after your extraction.
- Don’t poke at the gap with your finger or tongue.
- Avoid sucking, smoking, or consuming alcohol.
- Don’t spit or rinse your mouth too rigorously.
The wisdom teeth removal aftermath will go smoothly if you follow the dentist’s instructions. Don’t take any unnecessary risks because there is a high chance of infection immediately after the extraction is complete.
Surgery for Getting Wisdom Teeth Removed
Understanding the wisdom tooth extraction process can help you feel more comfortable with the procedure. Here’s a look at what an experienced dentist will do during the treatment:
- First, the dentist will make a small incision on the gums over the impacted tooth.
- They will then remove any bone material that hinders access to the tooth’s root.
- Once they have access, they will divide the tooth into pieces for easier extraction.
- The pieces and any tooth or bone matter are removed and the site is cleaned.
- Once the site is cleaned, the dentist will either stitch the gums or simply apply gauze to the wound to promote scab formation.
The wound will heal naturally over the next few days, aided by pain and prescription medication. If you follow the instructions provided by the doctor carefully, you should be able to recover fully without any complications. If there are any stitches in wisdom teeth spots, you will need to visit the dentist again for removal.
Recovery Time for Wisdom Teeth Removal
The recovery time after wisdom teeth removal varies from one patient to another. Most people take anywhere between 3 days to a week. Sometimes the recovery can stretch longer if you experience any sort of complications during the process. The wisdom tooth extraction side effects include:
- Severe pain that can’t be managed effectively
- Excessive bleeding at the surgical site
- Pus from the surgical site
- Blood or pus in your nasal discharge
- Swelling growing worse despite icing and aftercare
- Bad taste in the mouth despite salt water rinses
- Persistent numbness in the area
If you experience any sort of discomfort that doesn’t feel normal in the wisdom tooth removal aftermath, call your dentist immediately.
Frequently Asked Question
1. How much is wisdom teeth removal?
The wisdom teeth removal cost in Australia depends on the complexity of the procedure. Simple tooth extraction can cost around $150 to $200 per tooth. More complex surgical extractions can cost up to $600 per tooth. You will get the most accurate idea regarding extraction costs during your initial consultation.
2. How long does wisdom teeth removal take?
In most cases, wisdom tooth extraction can take up to 45 minutes or less. More complex surgeries with impacted or chipped wisdom teeth may take longer.
3. How to sleep after wisdom teeth removal?
To sleep comfortably after wisdom tooth extraction, we recommend taking all of the prescription pills recommended by the dentist. That will help ease any lingering pain and make you more comfortable. Sleep on your side and make sure your head is elevated. Apply ice if necessary.
4. How long does pain after wisdom tooth extraction last?
The pain from a wisdom tooth extraction can last for anywhere between 3 days to a week. The pain is usually fairly mild and can be managed by painkillers. If you feel intense pain that lasts more than 5 days, you need to book an appointment with a dentist immediately.
5. How long after wisdom teeth can I eat normally?
Most patients are able to eat normal food around a week after their surgery. You should feel comfortable eating soft food items like oatmeal, fluffy eggs, and mild soups around 3 days after the procedure.
If you want to get your wisdom tooth removed, book a consultation with your dentist today! Delays will only worsen the issue and make it difficult to treat.