Wisdom teeth extractions are among the most common dental surgeries that a dentist or oral surgeon will perform. They are often routine and can typically be accomplished without any sort of complication. A wisdom tooth extraction can typically be performed in-office in just a single visit.
Wisdom teeth often emerge later in a person’s life, and often at a strange angle that can cause future problems. Many wisdom teeth become impacted, which means that the angle that they are growing does not allow them to ever break the surface.
The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
When the patient arrives at our office, the site will be examined, and the area around the wisdom tooth will be given a local anesthetic. Many people who desire to be asleep during the procedure, or those with dental anxiety, typically elect for general anesthesia. Once the area is numb, or the patient is asleep, the gums above or around the wisdom tooth will be opened up by making a small incision. Then, the wisdom tooth will be separated from the jaw bone and removed, usually with no complications. Some patients will be given stitches at the operation site if it is necessary to keep the area from bleeding excessively.
What to Expect Afterwards
The patient will be given a gauze pad to bite down on once the procedure is done. This serves to sop up any blood that is still leaking from the operation site, and it is also to keep the patient from biting their own tongue or cheek since the area may still be numb.
The patient should apply ice every 10-15 minutes to help reduce the swelling. Typically, a painkiller is given, but if that is not enough, then moist heat can be applied to reduce some pain. The patient should also gargle with salt water every day for the first few days to help keep the site free of bacteria.