Are you experiencing wisdom tooth pain and worried that extraction may be necessary? There’s no need to be anxious. Wisdom tooth extraction is a common dental procedure performed to address problematic wisdom teeth and prevent future complications.
If you’ve been recommended a wisdom tooth extraction and are seeking more information about the procedure and recovery, give our blog a read. We’ll walk you through the entire process, from preparation to recovery. By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what to expect, how long recovery might take, and how to facilitate a smooth healing process.
Now, let’s dive in and explore the world of wisdom tooth extraction and recovery.
What is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
Wisdom teeth, or the third molars are the last set of teeth to develop, usually emerging in the late teens or early twenties. As all the adult teeth have already grown, wisdom teeth may sometimes get stuck in the gums or erupt at the wrong angle because of a lack of space. This leads to impacted wisdom teeth and can result in severe pain, swelling and increased risk of infection.
Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to various problems and complications, such as:
- Pain and discomfort, especially when they exert pressure on the surrounding teeth or become infected.
- Risk of infection, as partially erupted wisdom teeth leave a portion of the teeth outside the gumline, creating an opening under the gum which can trap bacteria or food particles. It’s difficult to clean the area because of its location, making it more susceptible to bacterial infections.
- Impacted wisdom teeth can push against the neighbouring teeth, causing misalignment, crowding, or damage.
Extraction is usually advised for impacted wisdom teeth to avoid further complications and avoid potential risks in the future. Regular dental check-ups can help identify impacted wisdom teeth and determine the appropriate course of action.
However, not everyone may need a wisdom tooth extraction. Some wisdom teeth may grow straight without causing any issues. While others may never erupt.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth, such as pain, swelling, difficulty chewing or opening your jaw, consult your dentist without delay. A consultation with an oral examination and X-rays will help your dentist identify if you have a problematic wisdom tooth or any other issue. If there is an infection in your wisdom tooth, it will need to be treated before removing the wisdom tooth. At Dana Street Dental, we provide all the information you need in the initial consultation, from the diagnosis and X-ray reports to the process. We also offer sedation options to make your procedure as comfortable as possible.
The wisdom tooth extraction begins with our dentist numbing the area and administering sedation if you have opted for it. A small incision will be made at the numbed extraction site to access the wisdom tooth. This part of the process depends on your specific case. If the wisdom tooth is partially grown, it will be removed in one piece. If it’s in multiple pieces or impacted deeply, it may need to be cut into smaller sections for easier extraction. Because of the anaesthesia, the procedure is mostly painless, with you only feeling the slight pressure from when the tooth is being removed.
If an incision is needed, we will place dissolving stitches to aid your gum’s healing. You’ll be provided with a piece of gauze to bite down on to help stop any bleeding. We will provide specific aftercare instructions with a follow-up call 24 to 48 hours after the procedure to ensure everything is going well and to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery & Aftercare
It is normal to experience some pain, swelling and sensitivity and minor bleeding after wisdom tooth removal. Biting down on gauze or a clean cotton pad for twenty minutes can help stop the bleeding. If the bleeding continues, call your dentist immediately.
Your dentist may also prescribe some pain medications to help with post-recovery pain. Take it according to the prescribed dosage and timings to help manage the pain. Don’t wait for the pain to strike. Taking the pain medication at the given times will help your healing process and make your recovery easier.
Here are some dos and don’ts after wisdom tooth extraction to aid swift recovery and healing:
24 hours after surgery
- Don’t rinse your mouth or brush near the extraction site
- Use ice packs on your jaw to bring down swelling
- Consume only liquids or very soft foods and don’t eat hot foods as this can cause irritation, burns and dislodge the blood clot.
The First Week
- Avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting
- Be gentle during brushing and flossing until your wound heals to avoid dislodging the blood clot, as this can expose the nerves and hinder healing
- Don’t use a straw and avoid spitting, as this can also cause a dry socket by moving the blood clot
- Do saltwater rinses to keep the area clean
- Refrain from smoking after wisdom tooth removal because nicotine can prolong the healing process
- Switch to semi-soft foods like broths, pureed/mashed fruits and vegetables, smoothies, yoghurt and cheese
- Stay away from hot, hard, crunchy, and spicy foods until the area is healed and you’re comfortable chewing from the extracted side.
Lastly, inform your dentist immediately if the pain or bleeding persists or you notice any sign of infection, such as fever or pus. Attend any scheduled follow-up appointments with your dentist so they can monitor your healing progress, remove any sutures if necessary, and address any concerns you may have.
Every person’s healing speed can vary. However, with proper aftercare, recovery after wisdom tooth removal generally takes a week and you should be able to resume your normal activities soon after.
From Wisdom Teeth Removal to Recovery: Gentle Dental Care at Our Ballarat Clinic
Wisdom teeth extraction can seem daunting, but it can be necessary if wisdom teeth are impacted. At Dana Street Dental, we strive to provide gentle dental care. We will listen to and understand your concerns before recommending any procedure. With friendly and supportive dentists, complete transparency, and tailored treatment plans, we aim to ensure you get the care you need for lasting oral health. If you’re worried about wisdom teeth pain or have questions regarding surgery or aftercare, book a consultation with us today.