Let’s start with a few basics.
What are wisdom teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are the third and last molars on the left and right sides of your upper and lower jaw. They are also the last teeth to erupt into the mouth and normally appear in one’s late teens to early twenties.
Why do they need to be extracted?
Because they are the last teeth to erupt into the jaw, they often struggle for space and this can cause them to become impacted, or remain below the gum line. When wisdom teeth are impacted, they can cause infection or decay in the teeth next to them.
Do I need to see a specialist for wisdom tooth removal?
At Smile Solutions simple wisdom teeth cases are normally treated by a general dentist. In more complex cases, we refer you to one of our expert oral & maxillofacial surgeons. Any of these practitioners can be seen at our one central location.
What should I expect when my wisdom teeth are removed?
Normally a special X-ray called an OPG is arranged at your initial consultation. This will help the dentist or specialist give you a better indication of where your wisdom teeth are placed, and what to expect in your particular case during and after the surgery.
A small amount of bleeding, some discomfort and a little bruising are all normal after wisdom tooth removal. However, in most patients all of these resolve quickly.
Wisdom tooth removal involves minor oral surgery. Depending on the complexity of your surgery, the amount of pain you experience will vary.
Swelling can occur due to the trauma caused to the tissues around each tooth that’s being removed. Anti-inflammatory medication and ice/heat packs can help manage this in the days following your procedure.
The normal amount of bruising can be expected to develop two to three days after the procedure.
How long is the recovery time after wisdom tooth extraction?
Recovery time really depends on the complexity of your case. If you have one simple upper wisdom tooth removed, you should be back to normal the next day. If, on the other hand, all four of your wisdom teeth are impacted and need to extracted in hospital, your recovery time can be up to a week.
What aftercare is needed?
At Smile Solutions, your practitioner will give you a post-operative pack when you have had your surgery. This will include written instructions on what to do, a medical certificate if required, additional gauzes for any post-operative bleeding, and a mouthwash and syringe for keeping the surgery site clean.
We also give you our after-hours emergency number for your peace of mind. Painkillers and antibiotics, if needed, will also be prescribed.
What to avoid
- Avoid smoking for at least 72 hours but longer if possible.
- Don’t drink through a straw
- Avoid dinking alcohol.
- Avoid blowing your nose.
- Avoid excessive spitting or rinsing.
- Don’t drink hot soup or other hot liquids.
- Avoid physical exertion for 24 hours.
Any of the above behaviours, if not avoided, can disturb the healing clot and this can cause what we call a dry socket. A dry socket can cause a throbbing pain at the site of the wisdom tooth removal, usually about 48 to 72 hours after the procedure. If you suspect you may have developed a dry socket you should contact your dentist immediately for treatment.