Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that develop in a set of teeth, and while useful, they often need to be removed due to common problems that can arise.
Wisdom teeth removal is a very common dental procedure in Mandurah and generally is performed in one of the following ways:
Performed by a general dentist in Mandurah or an oral surgery specialist as an out-patient service (this is referred to as “in the chair”) or;
By a general dentist OR an oral surgeon specialist in a hospital (public or private) as a surgical procedure usually involving sedation by a general anesthetic
How you have your wisdom teeth removed depends on the complexity of your situation; the less complicated your situation, the more likely you’ll be able to have them removed “in the chair”, and the cheaper it will be.
Why Take Them Out?
Wisdom teeth are removed in the majority of people because they tend to cause expensive and long-lasting dental problems if left alone.
Among the most common problems are: Infection Misalignment & becoming impacted.
An impacted wisdom tooth is the most common reason for infection; as it only partially emerges from the gum which lets bacteria into your gums; this is when nasty stuff begins to happen (i.e. infections)
This presents a situation where the chance of infection is extremely high – so the tooth (or teeth if you’re really unlucky) must be removed ASAP.
These impacted teeth are also likely to suffer from chronic tooth decay, as it is very difficult (painful) to properly brush and maintain them.
The number one question of dental patients is: why do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
Most often, the dentist will recommend removal before they emerge from the gums, usually after reviewing the X-Rays for the first time.
This is important to avoid a more painful and complicated procedure.
It’s very common for local Mandurah Dentists to recommend having wisdom teeth removed while patients are younger, as it is an easier process since the roots of the tooth have not had the time to set properly, and removal can be achieved very easily.
You’ll meet with the oral surgeon to talk about the process. At this appointment, make sure you:
- Talk about any health problems you have.
- List any drugs you take on a regular basis.
- Ask any questions you have about the surgery.
- Discuss what type of anesthesia you’ll have. You can either be numb or asleep during your surgery.
- Plan time off from work or school to have your surgery and rest afterwards at home. Set up child care, pet care, or a ride home if needed.
Your surgery should take 45 minutes or less.
You’ll get one of these types of anesthesia so you don’t feel pain during the removal:
- Local: Your doctor will numb your mouth with a shot of local anesthetics such as novocaine, lidocaine or mepivacaine. You may also breathe nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to relax or even doze during surgery. You should feel alert again shortly afterwards.
- IV sedation: The surgeon will numb your mouth and also give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you drowsy. You might sleep during the whole procedure.
- General: You’ll either get drugs through a vein or breathe the gas in through a mask. You’ll be asleep the whole time and might not wake up for an hour or so after the surgery.
Your Mandurah dentist may have to cut your gums or bone to get the teeth out. If so, he’ll stitch the wounds shut so they heal quickly. These stitches usually dissolve after a few days. He may also stuff gauze pads in your mouth to soak up some of the blood.
Everyone responds differently to anesthesia. If you had a local anesthetic and feel alert, you might be able to drive home to begin your recovery. You might even be able to go back to work or do your normal activities. If you had general anesthesia or still feel drowsy, you’ll need someone to drive you home.
Most people have little to no pain after surgery. You’ll likely have swelling and mild discomfort for 3 or so days. Your mouth may need a few weeks to completely heal.
Follow your dentist’s instructions for a quicker recovery. Here are some tips for the first 3 days after surgery:
- Use an ice pack on your face to curb swelling or skin colour changes.
- Use moist heat for a sore jaw.
- Gently open and close your mouth to exercise your jaw.
- Eat soft foods like pasta, rice, or soup.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Brush your teeth starting the second day. Don’t brush against any blood clots.
- Take the drugs your doctor prescribes to ease pain or swelling.
- Call your doctor if you have a fever, or if your pain or swelling doesn’t improve.
- Don’t drink through a straw. Sucking may loosen blood clots that help your mouth heal.
- Don’t rinse your mouth too harshly. Your doctor may suggest rinsing gently with saltwater.
- Don’t eat hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that may scratch your wounds.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can slow your healing.