Your wisdom teeth are the four adult teeth which are found at the top and bottom back corners of your mouth. In cases where there is no room for the tooth to grow, and you experience infection, pain, and other dental concerns, it is most likely that you will undergo wisdom tooth extraction. Many fear this surgical procedure but when done by an oral surgeon or an experienced dental practitioner, the process will go by smoothly. Here are things to expect from the treatment.
Types of Anesthesia Used in the Process
There are three types of anesthesia used by the dentist or oral surgeon, and each is used depending on how complex the extraction process will be. The first type is the local anesthesia, where one or more injections are made near the site where extraction should be made. Expect to be awake while your wisdom tooth is being extracted, but don’t worry since you will not experience pain.
The second type is called sedation anesthesia, one where the anesthesia is administered through an IV (intravenous) line in your arm. This allows you to feel unconscious during the process, thus limiting your memory and preventing you from feeling pain. Local anesthesia is also administered with this in order to numb the gums.
Last but not the least, there is general anesthesia. This is when you are asked to either have an IV line or inhale medication through your nose, then you lose consciousness. Some oral surgeons combine both. Your breathing, blood pressure, fluid, medication, and temperature will be closely monitored. You will not feel any pain nor have a memory of the extraction procedure. Local anesthesia will also be administered to prevent you from feeling postoperative discomfort.
What Happens During the Extraction Process?
The dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue in order to expose the tooth and bone that need to be extracted. From there, the corresponding bone blocking the tooth root will be removed. There are instances when the tooth needs to be divided into sections especially if it will be easier to remove them in pieces instead of a one-time removal. After tooth removal, the site will be cleaned to ensure that no bone or tooth debris has been left behind. The wound will be stitched closed to allow healing, but this is not at all times necessary. Any bleeding will be controlled using a gauze placed over the extraction site.
What You Should Do After the Procedure
If you have received either general or sedation anesthesia, you will be taken to a recovery room right after the oral surgeon performs the procedure. Otherwise, you can go home as usual. In order to heal from the surgery, you must follow all the important instructions that your dentists will advise you. Avoid too much spitting to prevent bleeding, as this may dislodge the blood clot and result to severe oozing of blood. You must replace the gauze over the extraction site as often as possible, or depending on dentist’s orders.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used for pain management. Prescription medicines may also be recommended by the dentist if a bone has been removed as part of the extraction process. You can also use a cold pack, which you can hold against your jaw in order to relieve any pain. Cold packs are also effective for any bruising and swelling.
Pay particular attention to your activities and diet as well. There must be no strenuous activity at least for a week. Eat soft foods and avoid drinking alcoholic, carbonated, hot, and caffeinated beverages a day after undergoing tooth extraction.
If you encounter any pain, or other problems after the surgery, it is recommended that you call your dentist right away. Do not be afraid to tell him or her about your ordeal after the procedure.