Wisdom teeth can be a necessary part of the mouth, or they can be incredibly annoying. Many people choose to have theirs removed, but before you make such a decision for yourself, you will want to make sure that you are doing the right thing. Sometimes, wisdom teeth are removed for seemingly no reason. While this might not hurt you (in the long run), it can certainly provide for an unnecessary expense.
How do you know when your wisdom teeth need to be removed? There are a few circumstances under which your dentist might make the decision, including the following:
Your wisdom teeth are emerging partially through the gums — this might sound harmless but will increase the risk of bacterial infection. Your Wisdom Teeth are unerupted, increasing the chance of damage to other teeth. A cyst can develop around the wisdom tooth, causing damage to surrounding tissue or even bone in some cases.
While you will need to speak with your dentist to determine whether or not wisdom teeth removal is a necessary action, there are certain steps you should take to ensure that you are in decent shape both before and after the procedure.
How to Prepare for a Wisdom Tooth Removal
Before you head to the dentist’s office, assuming that wisdom teeth removal is the way you want to go, make sure you prepare yourself by doing the following:
Get Rest — Though you will likely be placed under anaesthesia for the remainder of the procedure, you will want to make sure you get plenty of rest the night before.
Brush your Teeth! — This is more of an etiquette thing than a necessity. Though the dentist will likely clean your mouth before the procedure commences, you will still want to make sure you are presenting yourself properly.
Have a Designated Driver — You may feel free to drive yourself to the procedure, but following it, you may be in no condition to drive due to the drugs used for anaesthesia.
No Food or Drink after Midnight — It will be important that you avoid eating or drinking after midnight before the surgery. This will help to prepare your body for the anaesthetic.
The Removal Process
Wisdom teeth removal is either done at the dentist’s office, a surgeon’s office, or in a hospital. For this procedure to be done in a hospital a number of conditions need to be met. For example, you may be having all of your teeth removed at once, or you might be a high risk patient. These are things that you will need to discuss with your dentist before the procedure. If you are found to have any infections, your surgery can (and will) be delayed.
Step 1: The dentist will give you a local anaesthetic which will numb the area. If all of your wisdom teeth are to be removed, a general anaesthetic may be used, which puts you to sleep and prevents pain throughout your entire body.
Step 2: The dentist will open the gum tissue over the tooth and remove any covering bone. Then, the dentist will separate the connecting tissue to remove the tooth. Some dentists will actually cut the tooth into smaller pieces to ensure easy removal.
Step 3: Once the tooth is removed, you might need stitches. There are some stitches that need to be removed, though others could dissolve over time. Your dentist will let you know.
After the Surgery
After the surgery you will need to take care of your body to prevent further injury. Your dentist will give you gauze pads which you will need to bite gently, and make sure you change pads as they become soaked with blood. If you have been bleeding in excess of twenty-four hours, it would be within your best interest to contact your dentist. One of the best ways to shorten the bleeding of course is to avoid lying flat on your back. If possible, prop your head up with pillows. During the first twenty-four hours you should place an ice-pack on your cheek, and make sure you only eat soft foods. In fact, it would be best to eat pudding, or thin soup.
After the first day of recovery, you can reduce swelling in your mouth by rinsing with warm salt water, but avoid sucking through a straw. The pressure from a straw will actually cause damage to the incision area, and may land you back in surgery just days after leaving. The same will go for cigarettes, at least 24 hours after surgery.
In other words, try to be gentle with your incision. Getting wisdom teeth out can be a necessary procedure, but it will leave you in a vulnerable state. So long as you understand this, you should have a fairly smooth recovery!