You've probably heard stories of people struggling with pain and several dentist visits to deal with their wisdom teeth, the third set of molars that people usually get as teenagers or young adults. Unfortunately, most people experience some level of problems with their wisdom teeth, with the worst cases requiring surgery to have them removed. Knowing what to expect going in can help you deal with the process.
Problems With Wisdom Teeth
When wisdom teeth come in, they may not line up properly, and in some cases angle in such a way that they rub against and damage your other teeth or jawbone. Impacted wisdom teeth fail to fully break through the gums, which can lead to painful and dangerous infections. Because of the seriousness of potential problems with wisdom teeth, some dentists recommend removing them before issues arise. Your dentist may also recommend extraction after taking X-rays that show the teeth growing in improperly.
Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth that have fully burst through the gums are removed like any other tooth. If a wisdom tooth is impacted and stuck in the jawbone, your dentist will have to cut into your gums and remove bone that is over the tooth. In these cases, dentists usually remove small portions at a time to minimize bone loss. In addition to an anesthetic to numb you from the pain, your dentist may also recommend a sedative such as nitrous oxide or Valium to help calm your anxiety.
Recovery From Wisdom Tooth Surgery
You will experience some bleeding after wisdom tooth removal but should contact your dentist immediately if you bleed excessively. You will also experience some facial swelling that goes away over time. Over the counter medications help with the pain after wisdom tooth surgery, or your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe stronger pain relievers. You must also resist smoking and stick to a liquid diet in order for your recovery to be successful and infection-free.