Wisdom Tooth Extraction: What to Expect

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Wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure used to remove the last four molars from the back of the mouth. These molars usually sprout through the gums between the ages of 17 and 25. However, some individuals may experience growth sooner. The procedure is performed on those who experience pain or other complications as the molars push through the gums. Pain is only experienced if there isn’t enough space for the molars to grow in. Not removing them could result in crooked and/or infected teeth and gums – or worse. There are some people who do not experience any pain or symptoms when their wisdom teeth grow in, which means they have enough room in the back of their mouth to prevent discomfort. However, even though some people may be asymptomatic, oral disease can still occur.

Because impacted wisdom teeth have the potential to grow at various angles, not removing them could trap food and other bacteria between the teeth, which could eventually lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Surrounding teeth can also be damaged by impacted wisdom teeth, and cysts may also appear.

How to Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Most surgical procedures are done in a dental office. However, if an individual’s wisdom teeth are deeply impacted, an oral surgeon may have to complete the procedure.

Usually, patients can return home once the procedure is completed, which shouldn’t take longer than a few hours. Patients can expect in-depth instructions from their dentists regarding how to prepare for the procedure. Instructions should include driving arrangements post-procedure, if certain foods or drinks should be avoided, and if prescription or nonprescription drugs can be taken before the surgery.

Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Painful?

Because the procedure requires professionals to use sharp tools to cut through the gums in order to remove the teeth, patients can expect Wisdom Tooth Extraction: What to Expectto be numbed before the process. Before the procedure is performed, dentists will offer three types of anesthesia: local, sedation, or general. Local anesthesia is injected into the gums near the impacted teeth. With this type of anesthesia, the patient will remain awake but shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure. At most the patient will feel a bit of pressure and movement. Sedation anesthesia is administered via an intravenous line placed into the arm. This type of anesthesia will keep the patient unconscious the entire time and once the surgery is completed they will have very little recollection of what happened. Lastly, general anesthesia is administered through nasal inhalation or an IV placed into the arm – sometimes both. Patients will lose all consciousness during the procedure and won’t remember anything once the surgery is completed.

What to Expect After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Dentists will provide a list of do’s and don’ts post-procedure, but here is some quick information on what to expect:

  • Bleeding may occur within the first 24 hours of the procedure, but it’s completely normal. Dentists may offer gauze to bite down on until the bleeding stops.
  • Activities should be limited in the first 24 hours following the procedure. Patients should go straight home and rest.
  • Patients must consume soft foods and drinks until the extraction sites properly heals.
  • Teeth should be brushed gently, and toothpaste should be avoided around the extraction site.
  • After about 12 hours post-procedure, patients can start rinsing their mouth out with salt water about four times a day unless instructed otherwise by their dentist.

For those in the San Diego area with additional questions or concerns, contact McBride Dental so we can help make sure your surgical process is completed with ease.

San Diego Wisdom Tooth Removal

At McBride Dental, we are passionate about helping our patients keep their oral health intact. We offer a number of services to ensure our patients are able to prevent oral complications, such as deep cleanings, X-rays, and more. For those already suffering from certain issues, we offer treatment services, including gum disease treatment, wisdom tooth removal, and more. If you are in San Diego and need an appointment, contact our office today at (760) 471-1003.

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