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Wisdom Tooth Extractions

First of all, what is a wisdom tooth? The wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that usually erupt in your mouth between the ages of 16 and 25. There are numerous reasons why you might consider having them removed. Let’s review those reasons, the procedure itself and the recovery you can expect to experience.

Several Reasons to have Wisdom Tooth Extraction

When you are having one of your twice a year dental examinations x-rays will spot the wisdom teeth first. Some wisdom teeth may never come in normally and remain impacted, which means they are trapped in your jawbones or gums. These can lead to discomfort and even various levels of pain. So your first reason is impaction. Your second reason is they come in at the wrong angle and press against your other molars. A common third reason is when your dentist simply says your mouth is not big enough to accommodate this third set. Your jaw has no room. Finally, if you have cavities or gum disease because the wisdom teeth are so far back in your mouth you have not been able to give them the attention they need.

The Procedure of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

It may be advised all four are removed or you are extracting just one. All cases are different. Wisdom tooth extraction is considered oral surgery. You should plan on taking some time off of work or school to allow some rest time. You will receive a local anesthetic around the tooth so you won’t feel any pain during the extraction. You may also receive an IV sedative or nitrous oxide. Either sedation will make you drowsy or even doze and sleep through the entire surgery. If the teeth are impacted the oral surgeon will have to cut your gums to get the teeth out. This will require stitches to help the wound heal quicker. If the extraction was straight forward you may find gauze pads stuffed into the empty sockets to soak up the blood.

The Recovery of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

You should plan on someone giving you a ride home after your procedure. Depending on the amount of sedation you just may not feel like it. You will be advised to not consume solid foods, alcohol, coffee, soda or hot beverages for a few days. This is to give the gums a chance to heal and to not dislodge the blood clot that has formed. This typically lasts about three to four days. Again, depends on the complexity of the extraction. You may also be advised to not brush your teeth for a least 24 hours and to also avoid spitting, rinsing and flossing. Drinking anything through a straw will immediately dislodge that blood clot. It would also be wise to take it easy physically. Don’t participate in physical activity for a few days; sports, lifting weights, etc. If you are feeling discomfort over the counter pain relievers will help. You’ll be better before you know it and your beautiful smile will be back, better than ever!

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