The thought of having your wisdom teeth removed is often associated with growing chipmunk cheeks and dealing with the aftermath of anesthetic. While these factors may tempt you to delay the surgery for as long as possible, we want to put all of your worries to rest!
Our goal is to ensure that your smile stays as healthy and bright as possible, so we created this guide to teach you all about wisdom teeth removal!
What are Wisdom Teeth?
You’ve likely heard your dentist shout out random numbers to the nearest hygienist as he looks into your mouth. While they may not make much sense to those outside the dental profession, the numbers are referrals to specific teeth.
Wisdom teeth, also known as 32s, are the top and bottom molars that are the furthest away from your front teeth. They are more commonly known as your third set of molars that usually grow in during your early adult or late teen years.
Why do Dentists Encourage Removing Wisdom Teeth?
As oral healthcare professionals, we always want what’s best for our patients and their smiles. While it is suggested that teenagers and young adults should have their wisdom teeth removed, there are also many people that are completely fine with prolonging the surgery and living with wisdom teeth. The most common reasons to remove your wisdom teeth are:
- Your mouth doesn’t have enough room for another set of molars.
- They grow in at the wrong angle and cause pain against your other teeth.
- They’re trapped in your gums or jawbone.
- You have gum disease or cavities from not being able to reach them with your toothbrush.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms or aren’t sure how to check, we urge you to contact us so that we can take a further look at possible solutions.
Even if you aren’t experiencing any pain in your wisdom teeth now, it is very likely that you will encounter complications in the future. If your wisdom teeth don’t come in properly, it can cause a lot more than just minor discomfort.
Here are some examples of potential problems that are related to keeping your wisdom teeth:
- Damage to nearby teeth: Impacted wisdom teeth can affect other teeth that are directly beside them. This can cause tooth decay, gum disease and even bone loss.
- Infection: Food and bacteria can stay trapped under your gum tissue which usually causes an infection. Having an infection in your mouth can be extremely painful and dangerous.
- Disease: It is possible for tumors and cysts to appear in the areas surrounding your wisdom teeth.
- Overcrowding: Wisdom teeth can put pressure on your other teeth which causes shifts and crookedness.
What Happens During the Surgery?
The average wisdom teeth removal surgery takes around 45 minutes and can be done under general anesthesia, local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. One of our dentists will be able to conclude which option is the best for you. If you are given general anesthesia, you will be asleep during the entire procedure. If you are given local anesthesia, you will be awake during the procedure and your mouth will be numbed. However, you will not be in pain as you won’t be able to feel your mouth.
During the surgery, your gums will be cut open in order to remove the tooth. If your wisdom teeth have started to grow on a severe angle, they may come out in pieces, rather than as a whole. To reattach the gums, you will get dissolving stitches which typically go away after a week.
While reactions to anesthesia vary, make sure you have someone there with you to drive you home!
What is the Recovery Process like?
If you are in school or have a full-time job and don’t have weeks to spare, don’t sweat it! You can recover in less than one week if you carefully follow our post-operative care list:
- Stock up on soft foods
Get ready to try every soup flavour on the market! While we recommend sticking to liquids and soft foods, it is important that you let any hot liquids become room temperature before drinking. Soft foods such as soups and applesauce are the best choices to avoid inflaming your mouth.
- Stay hydrated
Avoid any hot liquids until the numbness in your mouth wears off. However, try to drink at least 5-6 glasses of water after your surgery.
- Apply ice packs
You should apply ice packs on both cheeks immediately when you return home. For maximum effect, let the ice packs rest on your face for 20 minutes at a time.
- Stay consistent with your oral hygiene
It’s perfectly okay to brush your teeth the night of the surgery as long as you rinse gently.
- Do not smoke
It is crucial to avoid smoking under all circumstances for at least 48 after your surgery. Smoking can dramatically reverse your healing process and cause painful complications such as blocked blood vessels.
- Avoid physical activity
For 6-12 hours following your surgery, you should keep any physical activity to a minimum to avoid any additional throbbing or bleeding.
While the recovery process can be a bit irritating, it typically only takes three to four days if you follow all instructions recommended by your oral surgeon. If your wisdom teeth are extremely impacted, your recovery process could take longer than average.
It is normal to feel pain and see swelling around your mouth after having your wisdom teeth removed. Don’t be alarmed if you notice some bleeding! It is also common to experience numbness of your chin, tongue and lip. However, if you feel nauseous for more than 12 hours, we encourage you to contact our office immediately.
Why Choose City Square Dental?
With advanced technology, dedicated staff, and years of experience, we are ready to guide you through the simple and pain-free process of having your wisdom teeth removed.
Luckily, our expertise goes far beyond wisdom teeth removal. We offer thorough root canals, dental implants, invisible braces, fillings, and much more. We promise that your smile will shine brighter after leaving our office, regardless of which service you choose.