Removing Wisdom Tooth : What Happens?

Removing wisdom teeth (or third molars) is one of the US’s most predominant dental surgical procedures.

The wisdom teeth form at the back of your gums and are the last teeth to arrive. Most people have four wisdom teeth (1 in each corner).

Wisdom teeth typically grow through the gums between your late teens or early twenties. By this time, the other 28 adult teeth are commonly in place, so there isn’t always sufficient room in the back of the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow correctly.

Due to the lack of space, wisdom teeth can sometimes grow at an angle, get stuck in place, or only partially emerge above the hum. Wisdom teeth that grow with some complication like this are known as impacted.

When Should I see a Dentist?

If you are experiencing excruciating pain from your wisdom teeth, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your teeth will be examined, and they will advise you if extractions are necessary.

Your dentist will often take an X-ray of your mouth if they believe you might need to have your wisdom teeth removed. They can see your teeth more clearly as a result.

As with any tooth issues, a dentist visit should be scheduled as soon as possible rather than delayed until your next routine dental exam.

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Why are wisdom teeth removed?

If your wisdom teeth are impacted but not bothering you, they often don’t need to be removed. This is because doing so increases the risk of problems and has no known benefit.

Dental issues can occasionally result from wisdom teeth that are impacted or haven’t entirely peaked through the gum tissue. Plaque can accumulate around the edge of the wisdom teeth due to food particles and germs becoming stuck there.

  • tooth decay (dental caries)
  • gum disease (also called gingivitis or periodontal disease)
  • Pericoronitis – when plaque causes an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds the tooth
  • cellulitis – a bacterial infection in the cheek, tongue, or throat
  • abscess – a collection of pus in your wisdom teeth or the surrounding tissue as a result of a bacterial infection
  • Cysts and benign growths – very rarely do a wisdom tooth that hasn’t cut through the gum develop a cyst (a fluid-filled swelling)

Many of these issues may be treated with antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwash.

When previous therapies have failed, wisdom teeth removal is typically advised.

How wisdom teeth are removed

Your dentist may recommend that you seek hospital treatment from a professional surgeon or have your wisdom teeth removed.

You will often receive an explanation of the process before the operation, and you could be required to sign a permission form.

To numb the region around the tooth, you will often get an injection of a local anesthetic. Just before tooth extraction, you may experience pressure as your dentist, or oral surgeon has to enlarge the tooth socket by rotating the tooth back and forth.

Sometimes it’s essential to make a little cut in the gum, and the tooth might need to be broken up into smaller pieces before being extracted.

A wisdom tooth extraction can take a few minutes to twenty minutes, perhaps much longer.

You can experience swelling and discomfort both within and outside your mouth after removing your wisdom teeth. On rare occasions, some bruising is also discernible. The first three days are often the worst, although it can linger for up to two weeks.

Learn more about wisdom tooth removal procedures and how to heal after having wisdom teeth removed

Possible complications

A wisdom tooth extraction carries some dangers, just like any other type of surgery. Smoking while recovering increases your risk of developing infections or delayed healing.

Another problem is “dry socket,” which occasionally results in bad taste or odor from the empty tooth socket and a dull soreness in the gums or jaw. A dry socket is more likely if you don’t follow your dentist’s after-care instructions.

In addition, there is a small chance of nerve damage, which might cause tingling or numbness in your gums, teeth, tongue, lower lip, and chin. Although it seldom happens, this is often just transitory.

Dental costs

You should budget between $200 and $700 per tooth for straightforward extractions of erupted teeth, with $300 being the norm.

Costs for extracting impacted teeth range from $250 to $1,100 per tooth, with an average of $350 to $550. The lower end of the pricing spectrum is for teeth that have erupted through your gums, while the upper end is for teeth that have been lodged in your jawbone.

Your upfront expenses for having your wisdom teeth removed depend on a variety of variables:

The Condition of your teeth

The teeth that have fully protruded from the gums are referred to as erupted teeth. Because the dentist or oral surgeon has easy access, they are easier to remove.

Impacted teeth, on the other hand, are wholly or partially lodged in the jawbone or under the gums. It won’t be possible for your surgeon to merely numb the region and remove your tooth. Instead, in order to get the tooth, physicians might need to sedate you first and then make an incision in your gum tissue. Impacted teeth removal costs more since it takes more materials, time, and expertise.

Recovery Process

Proper post-operative care is crucial to improve the healing process and minimize issues from wisdom tooth removal.

Immediately Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery

Over the area where the wisdom teeth will be removed, the gauze pack should be maintained in place with firm pressure. After 30 minutes:

  1. Take the pack off.
  2. If the bleeding persists or becomes profuse, change the gauze and bite down forcefully.
  3. Avoid vigorous mouth washing or chewing near the wisdom teeth extraction.

This might lead to further bleeding or the dislodging of the blood clot.

For the first 24 hours, it is advised only to drink or eat soft foods. Avoid consuming hard, crunchy, or spicy foods, and refrain from sucking through straws. Before the local anesthesia’s numbing effects wear off, take the recommended painkillers. On the day of your operation, remove your wisdom teeth, limit your activities, and gradually resume your routine. Apply cold packs to the area of the face where the wisdom teeth were removed. For the first 24 hours, apply ice intermittently for 20–30 minutes to reduce swelling.

Bleeding After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Little bleeding and redness in the saliva are frequent after wisdom teeth removal. If excessive bleeding occurs, gently remove old blood clots from the mouth, cover the region with fresh, clean gauze, and bite down hard for 30 to 40 minutes. Replace the gauze and repeat every 30 to 40 minutes. Bite hard on a tea bag wet with cold water for 30 to 40 minutes if the severe bleeding persists. Remove the tea bag gradually, then step away from the area. For more information, call our office if the severe bleeding persists. If bleeding persists, refrain from talking too much, sipping through a straw, or chewing too much.

Swelling After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Any surgical operation, including removing wisdom teeth, is expected to cause swelling. The swelling degree varies and depends on the operation’s complexity and the particular patient. It is typical to experience swelling behind the eyes, around the cheekbones, the jaw, and the lips. Usually, the swelling reaches its peak two to three days following the wisdom teeth extraction. Ice packs should be applied immediately during the first 24 hours to reduce swelling. Apply ice packs to the area outside close to the surgical site. After 20 to 30 minutes, leave the ice on for another 20 to 30 minutes.

Additionally, sitting up straight rather than reclining flat on the first day will reduce swelling. Dexamethasone and other anti-inflammatory drugs could have been recommended (Decadron). If you were given these prescription meds, take them as directed.

Pain After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Pain medication is typically necessary after the extraction of your wisdom tooth or teeth. Take 400–600 mg of ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®) every 6–8 hours if you can, or as directed by your doctor. Ibuprofen works as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. If you cannot take ibuprofen, you should take 1-2 standard Tylenol® pills every 4-6 hours instead. If the pain is severe, you could have been given a prescription for more painkillers in addition to your ibuprofen. The instructions on your medication container should be followed. Be advised that certain pain medications can cause drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion, so do not drive or work around machinery. Also, avoid alcohol while taking some of these medications.

You could have received a syringe filled with the Sockit!® gel. For the first several days, apply this at least 4-6 times per day to the extraction site. This will lessen the discomfort and aid in the healing process. Apply a small amount of the liquid to the extraction site using the syringe’s curved tip. Don’t let your tongue touch the region. This gel will relieve the region and lessen the need for further painkillers.

Call our office for further information if the pain is severe, not under control with your medications, or is persistent.

Oral Hygiene After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The day of wisdom teeth extraction should not be used for rinsing. After each meal on the day following surgery, gentle washing with warm salt water is advised. The day after removing your wisdom tooth, you can clean your teeth, but take care not to traumatize the region where the surgery was performed.

Diet After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Liquids should be consumed first if you underwent general anesthesia or IV sedation for your wisdom teeth extraction. As tolerated, your diet can subsequently evolve to include additional solids. To circumvent dehydration, make sure you are getting enough nourishment and liquids.

Nausea and Vomiting After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

A few people may experience nausea and vomiting after receiving IV sedation or general anesthesia. Don’t take your meds on an empty stomach to help prevent this issue; if you can, wait to take your prescriptions until nausea has passed. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Patients may experience nausea from taking prescription painkillers, especially the harsher ones. To check if nausea goes away, try quitting the pain medication. For more information, call our office if your nausea and vomiting are persistent.

Bruising and Discoloration After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Some people may experience bruising or discoloration in the surgical sites after that. This is typical following surgery and might go away in a few days.

Jaw Tightness or Limited Mouth Opening After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Some patients may develop bruising or discoloration in the surgical areas following surgery. This is common after surgery and may disappear in a few days.

Dizziness or Light-Headedness After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Some people may feel dizzy after standing up after having their wisdom teeth removed under general anesthesia or IV sedation. Always have someone watch after you during the first 24 hours after being put to sleep. Avoid getting up too quickly after sitting or lying down, and remain hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Smoking After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Smoking might delay healing and make your wisdom teeth extraction recovery more painful. Smoking should be avoided as long as possible after removing your wisdom tooth or teeth to provide optimum post-operative recovery.

After removing your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to phone our office if you have any questions or concerns. We are available around the clock.