No one wants to hear the news that their wisdom teeth need to be removed, but if they do need to be removed, it is for your overall dental health.
The good news is that the treatment takes place in our Alex Bratic Dental Care office, and it takes a scant few days for you to heal and feel back to normal.
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars at the very back of the jaw. They are referred to as wisdom teeth because they usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25, when you are supposed to be older and wiser than when your permanent teeth first came in! Usually, wisdom teeth are first spotted by dental X-rays. In some cases they come in to the jaw without problems, but for many people they cause problems and must be removed.
There are several reasons for wisdom tooth removal:
- They are impacted. Because they’re so far back in your mouth, wisdom teeth can be trapped in your jawbone or gums, which can be painful.
- They come in at a dangerous angle and may press against your other teeth.
- Your mouth is too small – with no room for an extra set of molars.
- You suffer from cavities or periodontal disease. You may not be able to reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush or dental floss.
You’ll meet with the dentist to discuss the extraction. At this meeting, be certain to:
- Mention any health problems you have.
- List any drugs you take on a regular basis.
- Ask any questions you have about the extraction.
- Discuss the anaesthesia that will be used during your extraction. You can choose to be numb or even asleep during your extraction.
- Take time off from work or school to have your surgery and rest safely at home. Arrange child care, pet care, or a ride home if necessary.
Your surgery should take 45-60 minutes, sometimes even less.
To decrease anxiety and eliminate pain, you will be offered anaesthesia. You’ll get one of these types of anaesthesia so you don’t feel pain during the extraction:
- Local: Your doctor will give you a shot of Novocaine to numb your mouth. You may also receive nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to relax or even nod off during surgery. You should feel alert again shortly afterward.
- IV sedation: The surgeon will numb your mouth and also give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you drowsy. You might sleep during the whole procedure.
- General: You’ll either get drugs intravenously or breathe it in through a mask. General anaesthesia means you will sleep through the entire extraction process.
In complicated cases your dentist may have to make incisions in your gums or bone to extract the teeth. If this is necessary, the wounds will quickly be sewed shut to heal quickly. The stitches usually dissolve after a few days.
After wisdom tooth removal
Everyone reacts differently to anaesthesia. If only a local anaesthetic is required and you feel alert immediately after extraction, you may be allowed to drive yourself home. Some patients even go back to work or return to their normal activities. If you had general anaesthesia, however, or still feel drowsy, you’ll need to have someone on hand to drive you home.
Many people have minor or no pain following surgery. You may have swelling and mild discomfort for up to three days. Complete healing may take up to three weeks.
Here are some tips for the first three days following surgery:
- Place an ice pack on your face to reduce swelling or skin color changes.
- Use moist heat if your jaw is sore.
- Gently open and close your mouth to exercise and loosen your jaw.
- Eat soft foods like pasta, rice, or soup, and drink plenty of fluids.
- Resume brushing your teeth on the second day, but avoid any blood clots.
- Take drugs if necessary to deal with pain or swelling.
- Call your dentist if you suffer from fever, or if your pain or swelling don’t improve.
- Don’t drink with a straw as it may loosen blood clots that help your mouth heal.
- Don’t rinse your mouth too vigorously. Your dentist may recommend a gentle rinse with saltwater.
- Don’t eat crunchy, hard, or sticky foods that may scratch or open your wounds.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can slow your healing.
Comfort, Convenience, and Excellent Care at Alex Bratic
Alex Bratic Dental Care in Beenleigh delivers the very best in dental services to patients of all ages. If you, your child, or a family member needs a smile fix, or just a checkup, we’re here for you!
Alex Bratic Dental Care is located on City Road near the Pacific Motorway near Beenleigh Station, with convenient public transport nearby and free onsite parking.
Call us on (07) 3287 2627 or visit us at 113 City Rd in Beenleigh.