What to Do for Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Many people talk about wisdom teeth, but few really understand them. These teeth are your third molars and they typically emerge by age 25 or sometimes not at all. But these teeth can be problematic because they are prone to decay and improper placement, or may even get stuck in the gums and become impacted wisdom teeth. To avoid later wisdom teeth pain and problems, you can have a simple outpatient procedure where a dentist or oral surgeon extracts them with ease.
Getting Ready for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Only a dentist or oral surgeon can tell whether you have impacted wisdom teeth and require wisdom teeth removal. An x-ray will be taken to provide a precise look at your wisdom teeth and help the dentist determine the proper treatment. If surgery is recommended, you will be given preparation instructions much like these:
- Share your complete medical and dental history, along with all medications and supplements you take.
- Because you will be given anesthesia during surgery to remove your impacted wisdom teeth, you will be advised on how to prepare yourself.
- Notify your dentist if you are sick immediately before the procedure because it might need to be delayed.
- Do not eat or drink anything for eight hours before the surgery.
- Arrange for transportation and help at home for the day of your surgery.
- Be sure to follow all post-surgery instructions to ensure healthy healing.
- Do not smoke on the day of wisdom teeth removal because this increases your risk of complications.
What You Can Expect
You will have one of two main types of extractions. In a simple extraction, a general dentist simply loosens the tooth from the gum and takes it out. Surgical extraction is more complex, and involves either an oral surgeon or dentist making an incision in the gum or cutting away the bone to remove the tooth. You will be given anesthesia for both procedures to numb your mouth and help you relax. Once impacted wisdom teeth have been extracted, you will need to bite down on a piece of gauze to allow a blood clot to form over the removal site. This will protect the area and allow it to heal. It is of vital importance to not disturb the blood clot while you recover to avoid any complications.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide you with complete instructions for recovery from your surgery, which must be followed while you convalesce at home. It’s normal to feel some wisdom teeth pain for a few days following the extraction. The degree of discomfort will depend on the difficulty of your wisdom teeth removal. Keep in mind that most wisdom teeth pain subsides in a few days, but healing takes at least two weeks. To aid your recovery, most dentists recommend these helpful hints:
- Use over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication as directed by your dentist.
- Apply ice packs to your face to reduce any swelling, for 20 minutes at a time.
- The day after surgery, you can begin gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day to clean the area and prevent infection.
- Opt for soft foods the first few days after wisdom teeth removal. Gradually try other foods as you feel comfortable.
- Once the swelling subsides, soothe a sore jaw with warm compresses.
- Do not use a straw, smoke, or spit after surgery because this can dislodge the protective blood clot.
- Call your dentist at once if you experience severe swelling, chills, fever, or redness, as this may signal a complication that needs to be treated.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Allentown, call Gentle Dental of Allentown today at (610) 616-3593 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Allentown. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Allentown, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Allentown.