Has your dentist told you that it’s about time to remove your wisdom teeth?
If you’re having second thoughts regarding your dentist’s advice, don’t. A top dentist knows what’s best for your oral health. Removing your third set of molars is the best way to prevent them from unleashing utter chaos in your mouth.
Why have your wisdom teeth taken out?
A wisdom tooth is like your appendix. It’s there in your body, but it doesn’t actually have a purpose. Sometimes, it can even cause problems if it is not removed.
Most people undergo wisdom teeth removal for the following reasons:
- Impacted teeth – Being so far back in the mouth, your wisdom teeth may not come out normally. As a result, they get trapped in your gums or jawbone, which can be quite painful.
- Wrong angle – Wisdom teeth sometimes come out at the wrong angle. They end up pressing against your other teeth and misaligning them.
- Small mouth – When your mouth isn’t big enough, your jaw won’t have enough room for an extra set of molars.
- Cavities or gum disease – Unlike the other teeth, it’s much more challenging to clean wisdom teeth. Your toothbrush or dental floss may not be able to reach your wisdom teeth, so cavities and gum disease can easily set in.
Before the procedure, you should meet with your oral surgeon to understand how it would go. Make sure that during the appointment, you:
- Discuss any current health problems that you have
- Talk about any drugs you take on a regular basis
- Ask any questions regarding the surgery
Prior to your wisdom teeth removal, don’t forget to plan time off from school or work to have your surgery. Also, remember to take into account the rest and recovery time you need afterwards at home. As much as possible, arrange for pet care, child care, or a ride home, if needed.
At most, your surgery can take about an hour or less. Your oral surgeon will choose the appropriate dental anesthesia option so that you don’t feel pain during the process.
Once your dental surgeon has dulled your ability to feel pain, he will then use a special instrument to disconnect and loosen the tissue around your wisdom teeth to pop them out.
The dental surgeon may need to cut your bone or gums to get your wisdom teeth out. For quick healing, he will use stitches that usually dissolve after several days to seal the wounds shut. He may also put some gauze pads in your mouth to soak up some of the blood.
Each person responds differently to anesthesia. If you were only given a local anesthetic and you still feel alert, you may be able to drive home on your own and begin your recovery. At best, you could even go back to work and proceed with your usual routine.
On the other hand, if you had general anesthesia and still feel drowsy, you may need someone to drive you home. Most people feel little to no pain after the surgery. For three or more days, you may experience mild discomfort or swelling as your mouth will need a few weeks to completely heal.
For quick recovery, it’s important that you follow your dental surgeon’s instructions carefully.
- Use an ice pack on your face to ease the swelling
- Use moist heat for your sore jaw
- Exercise your jaw from time to time by gently opening and closing your mouth
- Only eat soft foods like pasta, rice, or soup
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
- Call your doctor if you feel pain, have a fever, or the swelling hasn’t improved
- Quit smoking, as this can slow your healing process
- Don’t brush against blood clots and only start brushing your teeth on the second day
- Don’t forget to take the medicine prescribed by your doctor
- Don’t use a straw to drink as sucking will loosen the blood clots which help your mouth heal
- Don’t eat crunchy, hard, or sticky foods that may scrape your wounds
Thanks to today’s technology, wisdom teeth removal doesn’t have to feel like something out of a horror movie. Don’t wait for your wisdom teeth to start causing other dental issues — have them removed as early as possible.
There’s no reason to feel scared of the procedure. As long as you’re in the hands of a good oral surgeon, there’s nothing to worry about.
Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.