The wisdom teeth begin to erupt around when an individual reaches the end of their teenage years. However, there are often people for whom this is delayed quite a bit. Wisdom teeth are also called third molars since they are the last to emerge. More often than not, the gums may not have enough space to accommodate a new tooth, leading to the tooth emerging crooked or impacted. These can cause infection, pain, discomfort, swelling of the gums, and more, all of which can lead to more severe problems if left untreated.
Wisdom tooth removal becomes essential if:
Getting a consultation is the most ideal way for a dentist to determine whether you are in need of a tooth extraction.
If the wisdom teeth are impacted or only partially erupted, the chances of inflammation are high. Further, impacted and partially erupted teeth are also difficult to clean properly, which can cause the teeth to decay over time. The teeth can also become infected due to improper cleaning, leading to a bad odour. The pain and swelling often caused due to impacted teeth are yet another addition to the list of things that can cause discomfort to an individual.
The very first approach to dealing with impacted wisdom teeth is a check-up and an x-ray to identify the position of the tooth. The x-ray helps the dentist determine whether there is crowding or if there is room enough for the impacted tooth. It will also help the dentist figure out whether extracting the tooth will be an easy affair or require a lot more effort.
Once the x-ray is analysed, the dentist will decide whether to have an oral surgeon or specialist extract the tooth, depending on the difficulty.
By creating an incision in the gum, the teeth can either be pulled out completely after careful manoeuvring or be extracted in pieces by dividing them.
Tooth extractions require surgery and may take you up to 2 weeks to recover. Immediately following your treatment, you may notice swelling on your cheeks which will subside over the next few days. Using a cold compress can help in reducing the swelling sooner.
Wisdom tooth extractions are carried out after a local anaesthetic has been administered. This makes the entire procedure painless. Once the anaesthesia wears off, you may feel some tenderness around the extraction site for a couple of days. A week is all it will take for the treated site to feel normal again.
Once your wisdom tooth has been extracted, the site needs time too heal. Any pressure felt due to habits such as drinking from a straw, brushing or rinsing vigorously, consuming carbonated drinks, etc. can delay the healing process. Further, refraining from drinking alcohol and smoking is also needed until your gums have had a chance to heal.
The time needed to carry out a wisdom tooth surgery depends on the complexity or the severity of the case. More often than not, the procedure is carried out within an hour.
After a wisdom tooth extraction, you can consume soft foods that don’t require chewing. These include ice creams and yoghurts. Liquids such as juices and smoothies can also be confused as long as you avoid using a straw. Other foods you can have that are easy to chew or swallow can be mashed potatoes, eggs, and soups.
With a wisdom tooth extraction requiring anaesthesia, it may take a while for you to become alert and have the aesthesia out of your system. We recommend having someone to accompany you in order to drive you home from the clinic.