Speak to anybody who has had their wisdom teeth removed, and they’ll tell you that the thought and preparation are always worse than the procedure itself. For the most part, wisdom tooth removal is safe and comes with no long-term side effects. Depending on the individual case, wisdom tooth removal either takes place in a hospital by an oral surgeon or in a practice by a dentist, such as North Sydney’s leading dentist.
In this guide, you’re going to learn about the removal procedure and what you can expect from start to finish.
Preparing for Wisdom Tooth Removal
As mentioned, either a dentist or an oral surgeon will perform the removal. How is this decided? Well, it comes down to the condition of the wisdom tooth itself. Typically, an oral surgeon steps in when more in-depth surgery is required or if the tooth is impacted deeply.
In the vast majority of cases, you’ll receive the surgery as an outpatient (you’ll be cosy in the comfort of your own home before the day is over!). Before the procedure, make sure you’re comfortable with how the day will go. Don’t be afraid to ask when you need to arrive, what you need to bring, and whether you should eat/drink before the procedure.
For those on medication, ask about this because the last thing you want is for the procedure to be cancelled when you’re already in so much pain. Finally, the dental clinic will likely encourage you to make plans for somebody to pick you up and drop you home again.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
Despite popular belief, not all anesthesia is equal when it comes to wisdom tooth removal. There are three options from which the professional will choose:
- Sedation – With sedation anesthesia, your arm will have an IV (intravenous) line to keep you unconscious throughout the removal. Don’t worry, local anesthesia will ensure that you don’t feel anything in the gums.
- Local – As mentioned, local anesthesia is designed to numb a specific area of the body. In this case, it’s the gums, and it could include a couple of different injections. With these injections, the dental professional may numb the area beforehand with a gel or another substance.
- General – In some cases, an IV line or medication will keep you asleep through the whole procedure as a general anesthetic. Like sedation anesthesia, you won’t remember much after the operation, and you won’t feel anything during it. The difference between sedation and general anesthesia is that the latter doesn’t require local anesthetic in the gums.
When the dentist is ready, and when you have been through the preparation stages, the professional needs to expose the tooth, and this is achieved via a small gum incision. To reach the root of the tooth, they will remove the bone and decide whether to remove the wisdom tooth as one or in pieces.
After the removal, the next stage is pivotal to prevent post-surgery complications – cleaning. The site needs to be cleared of all bone/tooth debris. From here, the dentist will decide whether stitches are necessary (not all wisdom tooth removal will have a wound worth stitching). Lastly, the dentist will encourage clotting to control bleeding by using gauze on the wound.
After wisdom tooth removal, it’s essential to follow the instructions of the surgeon or dentist. This includes:
- Resting after the operation
- Using an ice pack to deal with bruising and swelling
- Not dislodging the clot by spitting too much
- Keeping the gauze fresh
- Steering clear of carbonated drinks and alcohol for at least 24 hours
- Using over-the-counter pain medications
- Only brushing your teeth after 24 hours
Call your dentist if you’re experiencing excessive pain or bleeding!