When the four permanent adult teeth at the back corners of the mouth emerge, sometimes they don’t have enough room to fully emerge. They become impacted wisdom teeth and cause pain, infection and other dental problems. So they have to be removed in a procedure called wisdom tooth extraction, typically performed by a dentist or oral surgeon.
How the Extraction Happens
Before the removal itself, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area. In more intrusive operations involving several teeth or for severe cases, general anesthetic may be used.
The extraction itself entails opening the gum tissue over the tooth and removing it along with any bone that is covering it. The dentist will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone in order to remove it. Sometimes the tooth may have to be cut into smaller pieces to aid in this process.
After removal, stitches are applied. Some types may dissolve over time while others require removal after a few days. The dentist will set the schedule for suture removal. Initially pressure should be applied with a gauze pad over the wound to stop the bleeding.
Postoperative Directions for Wisdom Tooth Extraction
After wisdom tooth extraction, the recovery period is usually just several days. Painkillers will be prescribed and the following instructions should be followed to help the healing process:
– Apply pressure to the wound by gently biting on the gauze pad periodically and change the pads when they become soaked in blood. Bleeding should stop 24 hours after the operation, if it persists contact the doctor.
– Take care to avoid biting the insides of the cheek, lip or tongue while the mouth is numb from the anesthetic.
– Cold compress should be applied 15-20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours. For the following 2-3 days warm compresses may be used.
– Physical activity may increase bleeding so patients are advised to relax for several days.
– Soft foods like gelatin, soup and pudding are recommended. Solid food can be gradually added as healing continues.
– Avoid using straws for the first few days as sucking on straws may loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
– After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with a warm saline (saltwater) mix. Do not rinse too hard, as this may loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
– Refrain from smoking at least 24 hours after the operation.
– Refrain from rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers.
– Be careful when brushing teeth.
The suture will be removed in a few days if needed. For further questions, reach out to Parrish Orthodontics.
For more information about wisdom tooth extractions, reach out to schedule a consultation with us!