A wisdom tooth is one of a set of three molars that generally develop when you reach your late teens or early twenties. Most people have four wisdom teeth, but some may have more or less as well.
When do you Need Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
While wisdom teeth are harmless when they’re straight and aligned, more often than not they grow out crooked and misshapen. When this happens, they may angle in or out, affecting the other teeth, the jawbone, or even the nerves in your mouth. In this case, they may need to be extracted.
Partially developed wisdom teeth also require removal, as they are ripe openings for a host of germs and bacterial infections. These can cause swelling, dental pain, stiffness and tooth decay, and you may have to get more dental therapy for relief.
Even if they are not bothering you right now, wisdom teeth that are not properly aligned will eventually cause problems to the adjacent teeth, and require removal. Waiting till that point can cause more complications and post-procedure discomfort, than removing them preemptively.
What does the Procedure Involve?
- The procedure can be easily done at our dental clinic, and depending on your preference we may recommend oral sedation. This is safe and comfortable, and involves taking a small pill to make the appointment easier for you.This along with other information will be discussed at your consultation for wisdom teeth removal.
- To remove the tooth, we will first uncover it gently. Once freed up, the tooth is removed, sometimes in pieces to make the extraction easier.
- After the procedure, stitches may be needed to heal the surgical wounds, especially in case of a major surgery. We will also place cotton gauze over the wound to staunch the flow of blood.
After the Procedure
The recovery period may last a few days, during which time we will prescribe pain medicine. Here are some precautions you can take to speed up your recovery:
- Take care not to exert yourself too much and reduce your physical activity to handling the TV remote during the first 48 hours.
- Apply an ice pack to the healing area intermittently during the first 24 hours.
- Avoid eating solid food immediately after the surgery. Stick with soft foods like soups and puddings.
- Be very gentle while brushing your teeth, but make sure to do it regularly to prevent bacterial buildup.
- Be careful not to bite the affected area or touch it with your tongue or fingers. Doing so might aggravate the swelling or disturb the delicate stitching.
- Often the best thing to do to heal quickly is do nothing, and let the body take care of itself!
We will go over all the instructions (both for before and after the procedure) at the consultation visit. We will be more than happy to address all your concerns if any, so you know exactly what to expect at our dental clinic in San Antonio, TX!