At a routine dental check-up, you may hear your dentist recommend a wisdom tooth extraction. After scheduling your extraction with your oral surgeon, you may begin to feel nervous about the procedure and what it entails. With so much misinformation about wisdom tooth extraction floating around the internet or in friend or family circles, it’s important to ensure you know the facts before you reach your appointment date. By having accurate information at your disposal, you can prepare yourself ahead of time, allowing you to feel confident and comfortable during your time in the surgeon’s office.
Do I Need to Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Although most individuals do undergo wisdom tooth extraction, for some, the surgery isn’t needed. Wisdom teeth do not always cause trouble by crowding the teeth or erupting and inflaming the gums. However, when your dentist begins to notice your wisdom teeth are impacted, diseased or simply don’t have room to grow in properly, getting them removed is the best course of action. In the end, your dentist will consider your unique health and wellness circumstances before recommending extraction.
How Do I Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Before your surgery date, you’ll meet with your surgeon for a consultation. Your surgeon will detail any preliminary steps you should take before coming in for surgery. Additionally, they’ll request information on any pre-existing health conditions you may have, including medications you take regularly. With this information, the surgeon can plan any accommodations you may need during your surgery. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions, request a particular anesthesia and plan your aftercare.
What Happens During the Procedure?
Wisdom tooth extractions can vary in length based on the number of teeth being removed. While some individuals opt to remove all four wisdom teeth, others only need one or two extracted. No matter the scope of your extraction, the procedure should be fairly quick, often less than an hour.
You’ll be completely numbed or asleep during your procedure, depending upon your unique needs. Surgeons can provide a local anesthetic, IV sedation or general anesthesia to ensure you remain comfortable during the entire process.
The surgeon may need to make an incision in your gums or bone to remove the wisdom teeth. Upon waking, your mouth may be completely numbed and your wounds will have been stitched closed with dissolving sutures.
How Do I Care for My Sutures After the Extraction?
The anesthetic will have a significant impact on your judgment and reflexes for hours following the extraction, so it’s imperative you have arrangements with a friend or family member to pick you up from the surgeon’s office. Once the anesthetic fades, you may experience swelling and discomfort, which can be reduced with an ice pack, gentle heat, soft or cold foods and pain medications your surgeon will prescribe.
Avoid eating hard, crunchy foods, drinking through a straw or smoking during healing as these can slow or reverse healing. After eating, your surgeon may suggest you rinse your wounds gently with saltwater to remove food particles and prevent infection.
Enjoy a Beautiful, Healthy Smile
Wisdom tooth extractions don’t have to be menacing. Let the compassionate, experienced surgeons of Greater Louisville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, P.S.C. help you maintain your bright, healthy smile. To schedule your wisdom tooth consultation today, contact us online or call 502-459-8012.