Wisdom teeth are the cause of discomfort and pain in many people and their extraction due to impaction, when the tooth grows at an angle through the gum, is a common procedure.
If a wisdom tooth only partially emerges through the gum an operculum which is a flap of skin, may grow over the tooth making it difficult to clean. In some cases pericoronitis, which is an infection, may develop. While this infection sometimes disappears on its own, it can cause pain and swelling in the surrounding tissue creating discomfort and difficulty eating, swallowing and talking.
Therefore, the decision is often taken to remove the impacted wisdom tooth. Sometimes it is wise to remove all four wisdom teeth, either at the same time or in different stages depending on the decision of the dentist and patient.
Generally a local anaesthetic is administered and the tooth removed in a simple procedure. Nervous patients may prefer to be sedated for extraction and a general anaesthetic would be used in these cases.
In order to remove the tooth, a small incision is made in the tissue, the tooth is then gripped and moved backwards and forwards until it is loose enough to be lifted from the gum. If the tooth is tightly impacted it may need to be broken into pieces before removal.
Occasionally sutures will be required to close the skin around the extraction site, these are generally soluble and will dissolve of their own accord as the tissue heals meaning they do not need to be removed later on.
After you have had a wisdom tooth removed you should ensure someone is available to drive you home after the procedure as it is not recommended that you drive after having received anaesthesia.
The extraction site may bleed for a little while after the procedure but gauze applied to the tissue around the site should soak up any excess. It is important that you take some rest although lying flat is not recommended as it can prolong the bleeding. If bleeding continues for more than 24 hours, you should contact our office at (253) 770-0198 we will be happy to give advice.
You will be prescribed medication to help with any pain and possibly a solution to keep the extraction site clean. For a few days after the procedure you should try and eat only soft foods such as:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
- Thin Soups
- …and other food you can eat without chewing.
Its ok to drink liquids although you should not use a straw as the sucking motion can cause the sutures to become loose. Smoking is not a good idea at any time but is certainly not recommended after a wisdom tooth extraction.
Dr. Kwon, the owner of SK Family Dental will be happy to discuss any concerns after the surgery and you should feel free to call if you experience any prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly.