If you’re scheduled to have your wisdom teeth removed, you may have a lot of questions about the procedure. What does wisdom tooth removal feel like? How long does wisdom teeth removal take? What should you expect during recovery from wisdom tooth surgery? We have compiled here some of the most common questions about wisdom teeth removal and their answers. Continue reading to learn more!
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that typically emerge in the late teens or early twenties. They are referred to as wisdom teeth because they appear at a time when people are considered to be “wiser” than when their other adult teeth emerged.
Wisdom teeth are located at the very back of your mouth behind your other molars, and they can cause various problems if they become impacted or misaligned.
Why Do We Need to Remove Them?
Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems if they are not removed. They may become impacted, meaning they cannot fully emerge from the gums due to a lack of space in the jaw. This can lead to a high risk of infection, pain, and damage to adjacent teeth. In addition, molar teeth can crowd existing teeth, leading to misalignment and other dental issues.
Is it Necessary to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
In some cases, it may not be necessary to remove wisdom teeth. Your dentist may recommend leaving them in place if they are correctly aligned and do not cause pain or other issues. However, removal is usually the best option if they are impacted or causing problems.
What Will Happen if I Don’t Have Them Removed?
Your third molars may cause severe pain if they become impacted or misaligned. This can be due to pressure on the surrounding nerves and inflammation of the gums.
They can also become infected due to bacteria that accumulate in the area. This can lead to swelling, redness, and pain in the gums around the tooth. In some cases, an abscess may form, which can cause further complications if left untreated.
Third molars can also cause damage to adjacent teeth when they are not removed. This is because the wisdom tooth may push against the nearby teeth, causing them to become misaligned or crowded. This can lead to crooked teeth and even tooth decay and gum disease due to difficulty cleaning the area properly.
How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth removal is a relatively simple procedure typically performed under local anesthesia. During the surgical procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the wisdom tooth and any surrounding bone. The tooth may then be extracted using dental forceps or other specialized instruments. In some cases, breaking the tooth into pieces may be necessary to facilitate its removal.
Once the tooth has been removed, your oral surgeon will close the incision with stitches and apply a gauze pad to help stop any bleeding. The entire process of typically takes between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the complexity of the case.
Is the Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure Painful?
The procedure is not painful, as it is performed under local anesthesia. However, you may experience some discomfort or soreness in the area after the surgery. This is normal and should subside within a few days. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort during recovery.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Wisdom Teeth Removal?
In most cases, dental insurance will cover at least a portion of the cost of wisdom teeth removal. It is essential to check with your insurance provider to determine what is covered and what your out-of-pocket cost may be.
How long does wisdom tooth extraction take to heal?
Recovery from wisdom tooth removal typically takes between one and two weeks. During this time, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for care and rest. Here are some tips to help you recover quickly and safely:
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, as this can slow the healing process.
- Avoid the use of a straw, as this can dislodge the blood clot that forms in the extraction site, leading to a condition known as a dry socket.
- Eat soft foods and avoid hard or solid foods that may irritate the extraction site.
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help keep the area clean and reduce swelling.
- Apply an ice pack to the outside of your face for 15 minutes at a time to help reduce swelling.
- Take any prescribed medications as directed by your dentist.
It is also essential to attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist in order to ensure proper healing.
What is a Dry Socket, and How Can I Prevent it?
A dry socket is a common complication of wisdom tooth extraction that can occur when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site is dislodged or does not form properly. You can expect jaw pain, bad breath, and foul odor and taste if you suffer from this condition.
To help prevent dry sockets, it is essential to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after the oral surgery procedure. Additionally, you should avoid using a straw and eating hard or crunchy foods that may irritate the extraction site.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure for many people. It can be a bit intimidating, but understanding the process and what to expect can help make it easier.
At Strull Oral Surgery, we provide quality oral health care and make sure our patients are comfortable and informed. Our team of experienced oral surgeons is here to answer any questions and provide the best dental care possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!