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What are Wisdom Teeth?

  • Wisdom teeth are the last molars on each side of the jaws. They are also the last teeth to emerge, or erupt, usually when a person is between 16 and 20.
  • Since wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to come in, or erupt, there is often not enough room left in your mouth to accommodate them. This can lead to wisdom teeth that are impacted, teeth that are trapped beneath the gum tissue by other teeth or bone. If teeth are impacted, swelling and tenderness may occur.
  • Wisdom teeth that only partially emerge or come in crooked can also lead to painful symptoms. Since teeth removed before age 20 have less developed roots and fewer complications, the American Dental Association recommends that people between 16 and 19 have their wisdom teeth evaluated to see if they need to be removed.

Different types of wisdom teeth (Impacted wisdom molars)

How wisdom teeth are removed.

  • A tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. It is done under local anesthesia.
  • After the tooth (or teeth) is removed, you may be asked to bite down softly on a piece of gauze for 30 to 45 minutes after you leave the office, to limit any bleeding that may occur. Some pain and swelling may occur but it will normally go away after a few days; however, you should call your dentist if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.
  • Removal of wisdom teeth due to crowding or impaction should not affect your bite or oral health in the future.

Post- operative care after wisdom tooth removal

  • Bite on gauze (PACK) with pressure for 45 minutes to stop any bleeding. If bleeding continues, place another gauze and continue to apply pressure.
  • For at least 24 hours DO NOT:
    • Smoke
    • Drink through a straw
    • Drink alcohol, carbonated beverages, or hot liquids
    • Blow your nose
    • Spit excessively
  • LOCAL ANAESTHESIA: Extraction of teeth is done under local anesthesia. Your lips, teeth and tongue will be numb for several hours (2-3 hours). AVOID ANY CHEWING UNTIL THE NUMBNESS HAS COMPLETELY WORN OFF.
  • MOUTH WASH: Avoid all rinsing for 24 hours after extraction. This is to insure the formation of a healing blood clot which is essential to proper wound healing. Disturbance of this clot can lead to increased bleeding or the loss of the blood clot. If the clot is lost, a painful condition called dry socket may occur.
  • FOOD/DIET. A liquid or soft diet (things like warm soup, ice cream, milk shakes (remember no straws), etc. )is advisable during the first 24 hours. Drink lots of fluids. Avoid taking HOT beverages and food.
  • BRUSHING:Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after extraction. After, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery. Don't rinse vigorously.
  • PAIN: Some discomfort is normal after surgical extraction. Analgesic tablets (i.e. Aspirin, Tylenol etc. ) may be taken under your dentist's direction. If pain continues, call your dentist.
  • Any ANTIBIOTICS prescribed by your dentist should be taken as directed.
  • SWELLING: To prevent swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the area of the extraction during the first 12 hours. Apply alternately, 20 minutes on then 20 minutes off, for an hour or longer if necessary.
  • BONY EDGES. Small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots; if annoying, return to this office for their simple removal.