Wisdom teeth are the final teeth that grow through the gums in a person’s mouth. While some people never have a problem with these four back molars, others develop painful symptoms that cannot be ignored. For many people, wisdom teeth extractions are one of their first surgical procedures, and it is natural to have many questions about what the process of removing them involves. Knowing what to expect with wisdom teeth removal Auckland residents need for their oral health helps ensure that you stay comfortable through each step of the treatment.
Why Do People Have Wisdom Teeth?
The current belief is that wisdom teeth were once needed by early humans who lived on a diet that consisted of tough plant materials and meat. Those extra molars helped to break down foods such as roots. The earliest humans also lacked access to modern dental care, and it is likely that many people had plenty of room for their wisdom teeth to grow in since they’d likely experienced some degree of teeth loss.
Today, our mouths have evolved to no longer need these final back molars. Our diet is softer, and people’s jaws have grown smaller. This combined with the fact that most people still have the majority of their teeth at the point that wisdom teeth come is what causes these molars to get impacted.
What are the Signs of Wisdom Teeth Growing In?
Wisdom teeth can erupt at any time. However, the majority of people find that theirs begins to grow through their gums in their late teens and early twenties. In some cases, a dentist will notice the wisdom teeth during an exam since they are visible on an x-ray and when they break through the gums. In other cases, patients notice early symptoms that let them know that they are developing a wisdom tooth problem. A few signs that wisdom teeth are growing in include the following.
•sore or bleeding gums
•pain when chewing
•sinus pain and pressure
What Problems Do Wisdom Teeth Cause?
Since wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow in, they often become impacted. This means that they may partially emerge through the gums and get stuck. Some wisdom teeth come in at an angle. This causes them to press against the adjacent teeth. If you do not get wisdom teeth removal impacted ones can lead to serious issues such as these.
Wisdom teeth that do not fully emerge create a pocket between the gum and the tooth. Due to its location, this pocket is impossible to clean properly, and it collects food debris and bacteria. Eventually, the build-up of bacteria in this area leads to an infection that often requires medication and special cleaning procedures to clear up along with the wisdom teeth removal. In some cases, this gum infection can turn into long-term periodontal disease, if it is not caught early.
The pressure generated by a wisdom tooth growing in can cause it to push against the adjacent tooth. This can cause the tooth to break. It is also common to find decay develop on the parts of the adjacent tooth that touch the wisdom tooth.
•Changes to Tooth Alignment-
Wisdom teeth come in during a time when many patients are undergoing orthodontic treatment. The wisdom tooth can push teeth out of their desired places and lead to a need for future orthodontic care to put them back into their proper spaces.
What Happens During an Initial Consultation?
Most people arrive at the NSOMS clinic after a referral from their dentist, a friend or themselves. During this first visit, patients fill out a registration form and have the opportunity to share their medical history and other important information such as their normal heart rate. Your surgeon will also use this time to go over the pre-treatment prep that you can do at home to make sure that the wisdom tooth removal from NSOMS is a success. For instance, you may need to fast before your surgery and arrive at the office without jewellery and other items that could interfere with the procedure.
What Happens After the Treatment is Complete?
Most people feel no pain during their surgery, which means that they tend to focus on post-treatment care. After your treatment is complete, you will be provided with aftercare instructions. If you had general anaesthesia, then you will need an escort to take you home. The surgeon will also cover your aftercare instructions with your escort to make sure that they know how to help you for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
Each patient receives a personalized discharge pack at our NSOMS office before they go home. This pack contains items, such as gauze and medication, that help with the healing process. During the first day after the procedure, the emphasis is on controlling bleeding and pain. Patients are also asked to take actions that prevent dislodging the blood clot that forms at the extraction site. For instance, you cannot brush your teeth for the first 24 hours after your surgery. People who smoke will also be asked to abstain until they heal, and drinking through straws should be avoided for at least a week.
What is Dry Socket?
This condition occurs when the blood clot fails to form or comes loose at the extraction site. When this happens, patients tend to experience severe pain because the nerves and gums are exposed. If the symptoms of this condition appear, it is important to call the surgeon’s office immediately. Prompt dry socket treatment consists of strategies such as applying a medicated paste to the location that restores comfort and prevents infections.
How Many Days Off Do You Need for Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth removal is oral surgery. This means that a person typically has some pain, swelling and bleeding that occurs during the first few days of recovery. For a typical patient, it is recommended to arrange for three to five days off of work or school. This allows time for the person to get the rest that they need to ensure proper healing.
Do You Have to Be Put To Sleep to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out?
There are three main options that a person can use for comfort during their wisdom teeth removal surgery. General anaesthesia, or being put to sleep, is an option that many people prefer since it guarantees no pain or awkward sensations created by the surgical instruments.
Sedation is another option that you can choose. With sedation, the patient is awake but not fully conscious. There is not typically pain, and the patient can answer questions from the surgeon. However, they do not usually remember the procedure afterwards.
If you prefer to be awake, then you also have the choice to use local anaesthetic. This usually involves having pain relief medications applied to your gums and injected in the extraction site to numb the nerves. You will be fully awake during this time, but you can use additional methods for comfort such as listening to music to drown out the sounds of the procedure.
You and your surgeon will decide upon the best type of pain relief method to use prior to the surgery based upon your current comfort level with dental procedures and overall health.
Getting wisdom teeth removed is a surgical procedure, but there are many things that you can do to make the process easier. By choosing to work with our professional team at NSOMS, you’ve already made the first step toward taking care of your oral health. If you have more questions, be sure to give us a call. We are firm believers that informed patients lead to the best outcomes for wisdom teeth removal.