Wisdom teeth are generally the last teeth to emerge from your gums and happens somewhere between 17-24. They are the last of your molars to come through and some people never develop them at all! Most of the time wisdom teeth don’t cause any problems, however some people don’t have enough room in their jaw for them to come through and cause pain, swelling and infection. If these symptoms occur for you, it will generally be recommended that these be removed. Antibiotics can help treat an infection but this is only a temporary measure as infections will continue to occur until your wisdom teeth are removed.
WHY ARE WISDOM TEETH REMOVED?
Having your wisdom teeth removed is a sure way to correct the current problem you are having with them or to prevent future issues. Some problems that can occur are: Your jaw may not be large enough to fit them and as a result they can become impacted and unable to break through your gums, this can feel tender. Your wisdom teeth may break only partway through your gums causing a flap of gum to grow over them. Food and bacteria can get stuck under this part of gum and can cause your gum to come red, swollen or infected – all of which can be painful as well. There are a few more serious problems that can develop when your wisdom teeth become impacted below your gums such as infection, damage to other teeth, damage to your jaw and cysts.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL?
The procedure for removing wisdom teeth is a relatively quick one with difficult cases taking up to around 20 minutes. How your dentist goes about removing them really depends on how deeply impacted your teeth are and any other issues you may have as a result of your impacted wisdom teeth. Most wisdom teeth extractions are the same as any other molar removal. If your teeth are more difficult to remove, your dentist may need to cut through your gums or even remove some of your jawbone to get to the impacted teeth. Once this is done, they will close your wound with stitches if necessary.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL?
When the anesthetic wears off, be careful to not chew on the area or have any hot food or drinks as you may not be able to feel anything in the area leaving you liable to easily burn yourself. Before you leave the surgery you will be given advice on how to look after your teeth and gums. You will be given painkillers, antibiotics and mouthwash to take home to prevent infection in the wounds. If you receive dis-solvable stitches, these should disappear in 7-10 days or if you receive non-dis-solvable stitches you will need to return to your dentist in a week to have them removed.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
It is important to remember that the vast majority of people won’t experience any problems during or after the operation. Even though complications are uncommon, there are a few that could occur:
Accident damage to other teeth or your jaw during surgery
Blood clot breaking away from the wound can cause severe pain (commonly referred to as dry socket)
Bleeding after 24 hours after the surgery is performed
Numbness in your mouth and lips after the anesthetic wears off
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