For many dental patients, the thought of wisdom teeth removal can be frightening. But it doesn’t have to be! Although it’s technically considered to be a surgical procedure, wisdom tooth extraction is actually quite routine. In fact, it’s likely that most of the adults you interact with on a daily basis have had at least one wisdom tooth removed. Thanks to the expert and caring team at Third Street Dental, the process of wisdom tooth extraction can be a smooth, easy, and stress-free experience. Still, have questions? Let’s take a look at the wisdom teeth removal procedure from start to finish.
Let’s start with the basics. Simply put, wisdom teeth are your third molars. They’re the teeth located the furthest back in your mouth and generally start to develop during adolescence or early adulthood. (Or, in other words, as you get wiser — which explains the name!) Although removing wisdom teeth is a common practice, the truth is that not everyone needs to have them taken out. If wisdom teeth have fully erupted, healthy, and there’s room for them to develop, there’s no need for removal. However, if they remain hidden beneath the gum (which is known as impaction), only partially emerge, become inflamed/infected, or cause issues such as crowding of the other back teeth, they should be extracted. Visiting the team at Third Street Dental will help you make a timely and informed decision regarding wisdom teeth removal.
First, your dentist will give you an injection of local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. At Third Street Dental, we also offer sedation dentistry for those patients who would prefer a less stressful, more relaxing procedure. If the tooth hasn’t emerged from the gum tissue, a small incision will be made to expose the tooth. In some cases, a small amount of bone covering the tooth may also need to be removed. Then, the tooth itself is extracted. Sometimes, the dentist may need to cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. You may feel some pressure during this part of the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain. And that’s it! Wisdom tooth extraction complete.
You may experience some pain and swelling during the first few days of the recovery, so it’s important to rest and recuperate. During this time, you’ll also need to avoid solid foods, alcoholic beverages, and hot liquids. It’s recommended that you drink only water, and eat soft foods such as pudding or a thin soup. (Remember, not too hot!) Solid foods can be incorporated back into your diet as your healing progresses. Full recovery can take up to one week. The more you rest, the quicker your mouth will heal, which will also help reduce the chance of needing a follow-up procedure.
For more information on wisdom tooth extraction, feel free to contact Dr. Andrew Ho at Third Street Dental. We’ll keep you smiling!