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Wisdom Teeth Removal: What You Need to Know

D&D Dental - Dentist talking to patients about wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that many people undergo in their late teenage years or early twenties. While it may seem daunting, understanding the basics of the procedure can help alleviate any fears or concerns. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about wisdom teeth removal, including what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

1. What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to develop. They typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. Some people may not develop wisdom teeth at all, while others may have more than four.

2. Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?

Wisdom teeth can cause a range of dental problems, including overcrowding, misalignment, and impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth occur when they do not fully emerge from the gum line, causing pain, swelling, and infection. In some cases, wisdom teeth can also damage adjacent teeth, nerves, and bone.

3. Signs That Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be time to consider wisdom teeth removal:

  • Pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Unpleasant taste or odor in the mouth
  • Headaches or jaw pain
  • Crowding or shifting of other teeth

4. Preparing for the Procedure

Before your wisdom teeth removal, your dentist or oral surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare. You may need to avoid eating or drinking for several hours prior to the procedure, and arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards. It is important to inform your dentist or surgeon of any medications you are taking, as some may need to be stopped prior to the procedure.

5. What Happens During the Procedure?

Wisdom teeth removal is typically performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure and your personal preference. The procedure itself involves making incisions in the gum tissue to access the teeth, and then removing them using specialized instruments. In some cases, the teeth may need to be extracted in pieces.

6. After the Procedure: Recovery and Post-Operative Care

Following the procedure, you may experience some pain, swelling, and bleeding for a few days. Your dentist or surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your mouth, including when to start eating and drinking again, and how to keep the extraction site clean.

7. Foods to Eat and Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Removal

For the first few days after your procedure, it is important to stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods such as soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. Avoid hard, crunchy, or spicy foods that may irritate the extraction site. You should also avoid drinking from a straw, as the suction can dislodge the blood clot that forms over the extraction site.

8. Medications to Take After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Your dentist or surgeon may prescribe pain medication or antibiotics to help manage pain and prevent infection. It is important to follow the instructions for taking these medications carefully, and to avoid consuming alcohol or driving while taking them.

9. When to Call Your Dentist

If you experience any severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever after your procedure, it is important to contact your dentist or surgeon immediately. These may be signs of a complication or infection that require prompt medical attention.

10. Potential Complications and Risks of Wisdom Teeth Removal

While wisdom teeth removal is a routine procedure, there are some potential risks and complications. These may include dry socket, nerve damage, infection, or damage to adjacent teeth. Your dentist or surgeon will discuss these risks with you prior to the procedure and take steps to minimize them.

11. Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is wisdom teeth removal painful?
  • While you may experience some discomfort and pain after the procedure, anesthesia and pain medication can help alleviate this.
  1. How long does the recovery period last?
  • Recovery time varies depending on the complexity of the procedure and the individual patient, but typically lasts for several days to a week.
  1. Can I eat and drink normally after the procedure?
  • It is important to stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods for the first few days after the procedure, and to avoid drinking from a straw or consuming hot or spicy foods.
  1. What should I do if I experience complications after the procedure?
  • If you experience any severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or other complications, contact your dentist or surgeon immediately.
  1. Is wisdom teeth removal covered by insurance?
  • In many cases, dental insurance will cover the cost of wisdom teeth removal if it is deemed medically necessary.

12. Conclusion

Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that can help alleviate pain, swelling, and other dental problems. By understanding the basics of the procedure and following proper post-operative care instructions, you can ensure a smooth and successful recovery.

If you are considering wisdom teeth removal in Edmonton, D&D Dental Clinic is here to help. Our experienced dentists in Millwoods, Edmonton can provide you with the care and attention you need to ensure a successful procedure and speedy recovery. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our wisdom teeth removal services. Don’t wait until the pain and discomfort become unbearable – take control of your dental health today.

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