Removal of wisdom teeth can help prevent future discomfort and oral health problems. Wisdom tooth removal is often recommended at an earlier age, typically in the late teens or early twenties. Unfortunately, there are a number of individuals who never had them removed in their younger years and find that their wisdom teeth are now causing problems. Luckily, Dr. Pfefferle can help aid in deciding what course of treatment may be necessary. If the wisdom teeth need to be removed, there is a good possibility that the procedure can be completed at our office. However, there are some instances where referral to an Oral Surgeon is necessary. Read on to discover how we decide if a referral is necessary.
If your wisdom teeth are fully erupted in your mouth, we will likely be able to perform the wisdom tooth extraction in our office using local anesthetic. Some individuals prefer to have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) during the procedure as they find it helps them relax. If your wisdom teeth are impacted in bone or are sitting near important structures, such as sinus cavities and nerves, we will refer you to an Oral Surgeon. Another indication for referral is if you prefer to have IV sedation (conscious sedation) during the procedure.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
If the tooth is just below the gum line, a small incision is made into the gum tissue to uncover the tooth. The tooth is then gently separated from the tissue and bone surrounding it and if possible, is removed in one piece. If the tooth is large or has curved roots, it may need to be cut up into smaller pieces for easier removal. Sutures are often used to reposition the gum tissue, which helps in speedier healing. These sutures are usually dissolvable so no follow-up appointment is necessary. Before you leave the office, you will be instructed to bite firmly on cotton gauze to help stop any bleeding. If the surgery is performed using local anesthetic, you may head home directly after the procedure; if IV sedation was used, you will need a driver to take you home.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Aftercare
Most often only a couple days of recovery is needed. Dr. Pfefferle will often instruct the patient to use a regimen of Ibuprofen and Tylenol for pain relief; rarely is a prescription necessary.
Change cotton gauze pads as soon as they become soaked with blood
Bleeding should not last longer than 24 hours
Prop your head up when you rest to help bleeding stop
Ice the side of your face to reduce swelling and discomfort
Rest in a comfortable location for at least one day to help deter bleeding.
Do not eat hard or crunchy foods. We recommend sticking to jello, pudding, mashed potatoes, or soups as you heal
When you do start chewing harder foods, try to avoid chewing near the surgery site
Avoid using a straw, chewing gum, or sucking on anything as this could remove blood clots and reopen the wound
Rinse with warm salt water to reduce swelling and to help clean the incision area after eating
Do not smoke, touch the area, or brush near the procedure site for a few days
Hopefully, this tutorial will help you understand the basics of wisdom teeth removal. When you come into our Traverse City dental office for an appointment, we will assess your need for wisdom tooth removal and share any further information as needed. Call to schedule your appointment today! (231) 935-1948
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