Wisdom teeth extraction is fairly common. In fact, In America, around ten million wisdom teeth are extracted every year. The teeth are the last teeth to erupt in your jaws. Mostly, there is not enough space for them to erupt like the other permanent teeth. So, they may become the main issue for your oral health. For example, you may experience pain, infections to your gum covering the teeth, or even experience swelling. Also, the teeth may affect the nearby permanent teeth. Sometimes, you may not notice the symptoms, but there is still a risk of developing while you are unaware. The good news is; you might prevent the problem through wisdom teeth extraction. The wisdom teeth extraction procedure might seem long. Thus you want to follow the dentist’s instructions before, during, and after the surgery.
At Washington Dental, we are ready to help you extract the problematic wisdom teeth and avoid future tooth loss or decay issues. If you experience wisdom teeth issues Carson, CA, contact us right away. We will examine you and recommend whether you are the right candidate for tooth extraction. Our dental experts will help you maintain good oral hygiene.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
It’s essential to know what wisdom teeth are and when you should have them extracted. The wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt in your jawline. They erupt at the back of your mouth, close to the point where your jaw hinges meet. The teeth usually erupt when you are at the age of 20. When they typically erupt with enough space, they will help you in chewing food. But, most people don’t have room for them to erupt comfortably. It means they will cause many issues as they push the other teeth to create a space on the jawline.
How to Prepare for The Surgery
Ask any questions you have before the day of the procedure. The surgeon will guide you on what to do before the surgery day, and also he/she will plan your recovery. Also, they will inform you on the type of anesthesia to be used and explain how you will probably feel after the surgery.
The cost for wisdom teeth extraction will vary depending on several factors, like the number of teeth your surgeon will remove. Check whether your insurance provider covers wisdom teeth extraction. Your surgeon will advise you to prepare for the recovery by buying certain foods and drinks. For example, you will purchase yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, applesauce, and any other foods which you may eat without chewing.
Location of The Surgery
The wisdom teeth extraction surgery will take place in your dentist's office or oral surgeon's office. Don’t allow anyone to carry out the procedure at their home. Taking the surgery in the dentist’s office is a safer way.
What to Wear
Wear comfortable, loose clothes for the surgery. If you receive anesthesia, wear a short-sleeved shirt or one which you will roll the sleeves up. The oral surgeon will not require you to change your clothes.
Eating and Drinking Before the surgery
Before the surgery, follow your dentist’s drinking and eating procedures. The instructions may change based on the surgeon’s sedation. For example, if you receive intravenous anesthesia, the surgeon will instruct you not to eat or drink anything from midnight before the actual day of surgery. It means you will be required to keep your stomach empty.
The Medications to Take
You may increase the rate of your bleeding when you have been taking ibuprofen, Coumadin, or aspirin. So inform your dentist whether you have been taking these medicines before the surgery day. The dentist will tell you whether to resume taking medicine or stop after the surgery. To minimize future complications, let your dentist know about your medication like vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, and other supplements.
What to Provide to Your Dentist
Remember to carry your insurance card and the necessary paperwork. Your dental expert will advise you to arrange for someone to come from the surgery office since you might be groggy after the procedure. The person may remain in the waiting room until the surgeon completes the process.
What Happens During Dental Surgery?
Ensure you arrive on time at your surgeon’s office. The dental expert may conduct an x-ray if necessary. Remain composed and don’t panic. The dental surgery will take approximately forty minutes. The surgeon will issue local anesthesia so you won’t feel any discomfort or pain. You will remain conscious or asleep based on the type of sedation applied. The surgeon will then follow the following steps to extract your wisdom teeth:
If the surgeon opts to use nitrogen oxide, he/she will fit you with a small mask over your mouth. So you will inhale the sedative. Throughout the procedure, you will stay awake but calm. Also, if the surgeon chooses intravenous sedation, a needle will be placed on your arm’s vein to administer the sedative throughout the entire procedure. Dental experts consider the second procedure the best since you are conscious, and you will likely not remember the procedure.
Numbing Your Teeth
After the sedation process, your surgeon will begin to numb your teeth and the surrounding tissues using local anesthesia.
Removal of The Tissues
The surgeon will remove any tissues on the surface of the wisdom teeth for him/her to access the wisdom teeth.
A bone might partially or fully cover the impacted tooth. If this happens, the surgeon will use a high-speed handpiece to drill and extract the bone surrounding your tooth.
Tooth Loosening and Sectioning
If the impacted teeth are visible to your dentist, he/she may use several surgical instruments to loosen them from the connective tissues in your tooth socket. Again, the surgeon may cut the wisdom teeth into subsections to ease the removal.
The Wisdom Tooth Removal
After sectioning or loosening the teeth, then it will be ready for the surgeon to remove them. He/she will use surgical devices prepared to remove the tooth.
After removing the teeth, it will leave a space. So, the surgeon may add stitches to fill the gap. The stitches are usually necessary when the dentist removes your impacted teeth or when the dentist feels the stitches are essential in healing the area.
What to Expect After the Surgery?
After completing the dental procedure, the surgeon will slowly remove the IV drip or nitrous oxide gas. Also, the dental expert will provide gauze for you to bite. The gauze will help in the formation of blood clots in the gap left by the teeth. After the surgery, you may experience mild effects due to the anesthesia, like shivering, dizziness, and nausea.
Your dentist will keep you in a recovery room and monitor your progress. After determining you are breathing normally and stable, your dentist will clear you. Primarily, you will remain in the recovery room for less than an hour. Later after the surgery, you will feel swollen and groggy. You might not feel a lot of pain soon, but the pain will more likely increase as the anesthesia wears off.
How Will The Recovery Look?
Within twenty-four hours after the dental surgery:
- Don’t use alcohol-based mouthwash or even drink alcohol.
- Don’t brush your teeth next to the removal site. Ensure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Don’t use a straw for drinking any fluid or rinsing your mouth thoroughly.
Note, swelling, bleeding, and pain in your cheeks and mouth might persist for a few days after the dental surgery. During this time, you may be unable to open your mouth fully. The extraction area may take around six weeks before it heals. But most patients resume their normal daily activities a day after the surgery. Ensure you skip strenuous activities for at least a week after the surgery.
Your dental expert will provide extra gauze for you to use at your home if the bleeding continues after removing the gauze, fold and insert another gauze in the extraction site. You may fold the gauze into a pad and then damp the pad into warm water and hold it in the extraction site. Don’t chew the gauze. Hold the gauze for at least thirty minutes and replace it once soaked with your blood.
According to research conducted in 2014, dental experts provided patients with regular gauze and others with gauze moistened green tea to use on the extraction site. The results showed the gauze with green tea extract was much more effective than the regular gauze. During your healing process, observe the symptoms of dry socket like:
- Bad taste or foul smell in your mouth
- The visible bone part on your tooth extraction site
- Severe pain igniting from the socket towards the side of your face or neck
- Visit your dentist right away if you experience symptoms of dry socket, significant pain, or heavy bleeding.
How Will I Relieve the Pain?
You may use over-counter medications like Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) to relieve the pain after the dental surgery. Your dentist will provide you with the prescriptions. Again, you may try placing a cold, damp washcloth or a bag of ice on your face to minimize the pain and swelling.
Sometimes your dental expert may prescribe pain-relieving medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone. The medicines are safe when used for a short period. Remember to follow your dentist’s instructions since misuse of drugs may even lead to death.
What to Eat and Drink After the Surgery
Your dental expert will provide suggestions on when and what you will eat after the dental surgery. Note, the soft tissues in your mouth will more likely remain much sensitive for the following weeks. Often, you may begin by eating soft foods and slowly start to add more solid foods after feeling you are ready. Avoid foods like hard and small (seeds, granola, and nuts), chewy, acidic, and spicy since they might irritate the extraction site. Your dental specialist may advise you to rinse your mouth using warm salt water after taking any meal and be careful to avoid dislodging the blood clots.
Why Should I Extract the Wisdom Teeth?
Your dentist may recommend you remove the wisdom teeth when they fail to erupt properly or if they lead to other oral problems. The following are the common reasons why you should have your wisdom teeth extracted:
When the Teeth Damages the Nearby Teeth
The permanent teeth are already positioned on your gum. The wisdom teeth(molars) may erupt, forcing them to change their positioning. The force will cause bite problems, pain, or overcrowding. So you will find it challenging when brushing them effectively; thus, you may end up facing tooth decay or cavities. Then your dentist may recommend you extract them to avoid oral issues.
As the wisdom teeth erupt, they try to penetrate an already crowded space. Due to the little space, they push the neighboring teeth aside. Then it results in teeth misalignment. Even when you have a beautiful smile, the wisdom teeth eruption may affect it. So, your dentist will most likely advise you to remove the wisdom teeth and avoid teeth overcrowding.
Infection and Inflammation
The wisdom teeth usually result in gum inflammation because of the partial impactions and limited space between the teeth. The condition may result in gum problems, among other hazards. Most dental experts argue that once inflammation occurs, it’s difficult to reverse it. Alternatively, when your teeth are partially impacted, the separation between them and the gum will create a breeding surface for bacteria survival, increasing the risks of other infections. This is why most dental experts will recommend you to remove the wisdom teeth.
Difficult To Keep Good Oral Health
If you experience no pain or usual complications during the wisdom teeth eruption, then your dental hygiene might be at risk in the future. Remember, the space at the molars is minimal and thus difficult to floss or clean properly. So, limited space and difficult to clean areas will make the wisdom teeth prone to plaque buildup and cavities. Therefore, the removal of wisdom teeth might be the best way to avoid dental problems.
Tumors or Cysts
The impacted wisdom teeth might result in cysts or tumors in your jawbone, leading to joint pain. To deal with the problem, you will require a TMJ specialist and TMJ treatment options. So to avoid all these, your dentist will most likely recommend you remove the impacted wisdom teeth early.
Benefits of Wisdom Teeth Extraction
If you have family dentistry and you are at the age of wisdom teeth eruption, your dentist will examine you and recommend whether your wisdom teeth should be removed. Again, if your wisdom teeth have already erupted and you start experiencing discomfort or pain, it’s essential to visit your dentist right away. The dental expert will likely explain the benefits of wisdom teeth extraction. Most patients usually take the information for granted without understanding the potential benefits they will enjoy after the tooth extraction. The potential benefits include:
Since the wisdom teeth grow late, the other teeth are already mature and in their place. If there is no space, the wisdom teeth try to create a room by pushing the other teeth. The intense pressure created on your teeth may cause headaches that may only be relieved by removing the growing wisdom teeth.
Stop Oral Infections
As the wisdom teeth grow, they push the other teeth. Thus they may cause infections in your mouth. The pressure created may cause the underlying bones or gum to irritate. The irritation may expose you to bacteria and lead to tooth decay or loss. Again, the forceful pressure may cause a lot of pain, whereby you don’t notice whether you have another infection at the moment. By removing the wisdom teeth, you minimize the risks of oral infections.
Reduce the Chances of Obtaining Periodontal Diseases
As your wisdom teeth shift in your mouth, it may create a surface too hard to reach through flossing or brushing. Again, the irregular places or gaps where you have overlaps may become room for bacteria survival. If you don’t remove the harmful bacteria, you will more likely suffer periodontal diseases, tooth loss, or even tooth decay. So if your dentist recommends you remove the wisdom teeth, you will minimize the chances of having periodontal diseases.
Avoid Tooth Shifting
As the wisdom tooth pushes the other permanent teeth, it will create crooked teeth or a jagged bite line. Your wisdom teeth may push the other teeth behind or in front. If you fail to extract them early, the shift may worsen. Remember, if your teeth movement goes for an extended period, your dentist may even recommend other treatment procedures to straighten them. But, if you extract them, you will no longer experience teeth shifting.
The Potential Risks Associated with Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth extraction is a familiar surgical procedure that goes well. But, tooth extraction might come with minimal complications. For example, you might experience bleeding, numbness in your jaw, and swelling. The good news is: you may reduce or prevent the complications by notifying your dentist and following their instructions. The common complications include:
Swelling and Pain
Swelling and pain are common after tooth extraction, mainly the first three days after the procedure. The American Journal of Maxillofacial and Oral surgery research surveyed 100 people who had wisdom teeth and made several conclusions. All of the patients reported swelling and pain. But you may reduce the pain and swelling. For example, your dentist may recommend you to use over-the-counter medications to relieve the pain. Again, if the pain persists after three days, you may contact your dentist.
Bleeding after the tooth extraction is normal for the first eight to twelve hours. This is because it takes time before the clot forms on the extraction site. Your oral surgeon or dentist will guide you on how to minimize the bleeding. For example, he/she will recommend you avoid smoking. Again you will be required to eat soft foods.
After removing the teeth, a clot will form on the extraction site. The function of the clot is to help the healing. A dry socket happens when you dislodge the clot leaving the gum’s nerves exposed to food debris or air. A group of researchers surveyed more than 1200 patients after going for tooth extraction. Out of them, only 41 experienced dry sockets.
The patients who smoked were at a high risk of experiencing dry sockets compared to those who didn’t. The dry socket may occur five days after the procedure. The signs of dry socket include sharp pain in your extraction site. So, if you feel throbbing or sharp teeth, it's recommended you inform your surgeon or dentist. The dentist/surgeon will cover the extraction site after cleaning it.
Limited Mouth Opening
After the wisdom teeth extraction, you will likely experience discomfort, temporary restrictions when you try to open your mouth. If you experience stiffness for a prolonged period, you want to consult your dentist. The dentist will prescribe treatment like pain medication, heat therapy, jaw opening devices, or muscle relaxants.
Note, lip numbness is rare but possible. Your molars are next to your inferior Alveolar nerve in your jaw. Once your nerves are damaged during the surgery, you may experience numbness in your jaw or lip. The numbness will be temporary, although it might be permanent when the nerves are severely damaged. Most patients don’t report the problem, however.
Before and after the dental surgery, your surgeon or dentist will discuss the possible complications and recommend minimizing the risks. For example, he/she will guide you on how to take care of the extraction site. Ensure you follow all the dentist’s instructions and contact them once you notice a tooth extraction complication or side effect.
The Approximate Cost of Wisdom Teeth Extraction
The cost of wisdom teeth removal will vary based on whether the teeth are impacted. Usually, simple extractions will range between $75 and $200 per tooth. The cost may increase based on the kind of anesthesia you use.
Alternatively, the cost of extracting impacted teeth is significantly higher and may range anywhere between $800 and $4000. Also, your residential area may affect your cost since the services are determined depending on the area's cost of living.
Find a Carson Dentist Near Me
If you experience wisdom teeth problems and your dentist recommends you extract the teeth, you want to consider the dental procedure. Avoid the above problems earlier; save your time, money, and pain. Ensure you work closely with your dentist before, during, and after the dental surgery to reduce risks that may be caused by poor handling of the dental site. If you seek dental services in Carson, CA, the Washington Dental is here to help you. Our dental experts provide dental services at a friendly cost. So, don’t hesitate to call us at 310-217-1507 anytime you require dental services.