If your wisdom tooth has ended up impacted from within, under, or beneath your healthy teeth (that is, there isn’t enough room on your jaw for it to erupt by virtue of evolutionary oversight, so it now becomes your constant dose of pain), then you should have it removed. You need to specifically search for a dentist or a maxillofacial surgeon in order to extra this errant tooth.
This is a procedure that should be done in the surgeon’s or dentist’s office. You can also have this surgery in the hospital if you’re the type of patient that has high risk for complications.
What to Expect Before and During Surgery
Here are the things you should expect regarding wisdom tooth pre-operation preparation and the wisdom tooth extraction or operation itself.
- Delay Due to Infection: If you have an infection, then the surgery will be delayed until you get better and your condition has improved. This typically involves prescribing the right antibiotics for you and your individual anti-infection needs. Once the infection has cleared up, your dentist will have you prepped up for wisdom tooth removal.
- Applying Anesthetic: The dentist will first apply local anesthetic (the type of anesthetic that numbs you down) over the area to keep the procedure painless while the wisdom tooth is being removed. If there’s more than one wisdom tooth that’s being removed at the same time, you might be given general anesthetic instead (the type of anesthetic that makes you go to sleep) so that you can be rendered unconscious throughout the whole operation.
- Don’t Eat or Drink and Gum Tissue Incision: It’s recommended that you don’t eat or drink after midnight on the night before your surgical operation for wisdom tooth removal. This will prepare you for the anesthetic (the effectiveness of the drug depends on how full your stomach is). Because an impacted wisdom tooth is located down below, your dentist will first slice the gum tissue over the tooth.
- Separation: Surgical forceps will be used to remove the bone covering the tooth to gain access to it and the tooth itself. The dentist will also have to separate the tissue connecting the bone to the tooth in order to completely remove it. There are times when the cut will have to get cut into smaller pieces for easier removal. Indeed, a bit of slicing and drilling of the wisdom tooth might also be done in order to take it out piece by piece.
After the tooth is removed, you’ll need a few stitches to put your gums back together. Some stitches dissolve over time and others require removal after a few days, when your wound has healed. A gauze pad is also placed on the wound to keep it from bleeding.
What to Expect After Surgery
In many cases, recovering from the surgery only takes a few days. You need to take painkillers as prescribed by your oral surgeon or dentist. You can also speed up your recovery by periodically biting on the gauze pad in a gentle manner to squeeze out the blood. If your mouth is numb, take care not to bite inside your lip or cheek.
If you’ve been bleeding 24 hours after the operation, you should consult your oral surgeon and dentist immediately. Bleeding will be prolonged when you lie flat on your bed. To ensure better blood circulation, you should prop your head up with pillows. Put an ice pack outside your cheek for relief for 15-20 minutes on the first day after the procedure.
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