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Wisdom teeth removal explained

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Did you know that nearly 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted across the United States every year? Almost every dentist and oral surgeon recommends wisdom teeth removal to avoid future preventable complications. If it’s time for you to have your wisdom teeth taken out, you have nothing to worry about. Here’s a quick rundown of the procedure.

Initial consultation

First, you will meet with your oral surgeon to have your mouth and jaw examined. X-rays will be taken to determine how many wisdom teeth you have, where they are positioned, the shape of the roots and whether any complications might be expected with the extraction. Your doctor will create a treatment plan and explain exactly what needs to be done to remove your wisdom teeth.

Preparing for your oral surgery

Be sure to follow all pre-op instructions provided by your oral surgeon. These may include:

  • Make arrangements for someone to drive you home after your surgery
  • Fasting for a set number of hours prior to your appointment
  • Avoiding certain medications the day of your extraction

It’s also a good idea to prepare your home in advance to facilitate your recovery. Stock your kitchen with soft, easy-to-eat foods, complete all chores and housework and set up your sofa for relaxing.

Understanding the procedure

Wisdom teeth that have erupted can usually be removed using dental extraction forceps, just like any other tooth. Teeth that are below the gumline will require a small incision and possibly the removal of some bone tissue in order to access the tooth root. Finally, the extraction site is sutured (when required) to promote healing and gauze is placed over the wound to control bleeding and form a blood clot.

Post-op care and healing

Most patients do not experience side effects from wisdom teeth extraction and are able to manage post-op discomfort using over-the-counter medication, icing and rest. Do plan on giving yourself at least one full day of recovery time before returning to normal activity but if you can take additional time off work, two to three days is preferred. Be sure to avoid any strenuous activity for at least one week.

Learn more about Wisdom Teeth Aftercare.

Book Your Wisdom Teeth Consult Today!