Wisdom teeth are an extra set of molars that grows in your jaw as an adult. While some people have no problem with their wisdom teeth, others find them painful and uncomfortable and prefer to remove them. If you're in the latter group, consult your dentist or an oral surgeon for tooth extraction.
Here's everything you should know about wisdom teeth removal before you go through the surgery.
Why Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth will grow at the end of your jaws between the ages of 17-25. The teeth will try to grow in the small space at the end of your jaw, which can be very painful. Besides, they may not grow out fully, leaving you to struggle with painful jaws.
Here are the main reasons why you should remove your wisdom teeth:
- The teeth are trapped in the jaw and cause pain
- The teeth press against other teeth and cause you discomfort
- Your jaw doesn't have enough room for the extra teeth
- The teeth have cavities or gum disease
Whichever the reason for extracting your wisdom teeth, the dentist or oral surgeon will speak to you about the procedure to prepare you. They will also give you aftercare tips to help you heal faster.
What Should You Do Before the Surgery?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common surgery and should not worry you. However, you need to be fully prepared and alert the surgeon of any preexisting medical conditions that may affect the outcome of the surgery.
Here are some of the things you should do before surgery:
- Speak to your surgeon about any health problems and any drugs you take
- Ask the surgeon any questions you may have about the surgery
- Choose the type of anesthesia the doctor should use on you
- Plan for the surgery. Take time off work, and arrange for pet and child care services during and after the surgery
After the surgery, you might need a ride home. Arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home.
What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
The surgery will take around 45 minutes. Depending on your general body condition, the surgeon will numb you with the anesthesia of your choice. The most common alternatives include the following:
- Local anesthesia to numb the mouth, e.g., Nocaine or mepivacaine
- Local anesthesia and IV sedation to make you sleep throughout the surgery
- General anesthesia to make you sleep all through the surgery
With general anesthesia, the surgeon will inject the anesthesia through your vein or ask you to inhale it through a gas mask. You will fall asleep and be out for an hour or more after the surgery.
The surgeon might need to cut your gum to extract the wisdom teeth. When they do so, they will stitch your wound with dissolvable stitches, which will disappear after a few days.
Your surgeon should give you some after-surgery care tips to help you heal faster. They will also schedule a checkup visit to assess your healing process and advise you accordingly.