In some situations, seeing an emergency dentist can do more than offer relief from painful injuries or conditions. A visit to this dental professional's office can also lead to life-saving treatment for many patients. It is important to understand what constitutes a dental emergency so that an informed decision can be made during a critical…
Wisdom Tooth Extraction: What to Expect and How to Prepare
If you have an upcoming wisdom tooth extraction, you might be nervous and anxious about the event. You are not alone: this surgery can be complicated and involved, so it is normal to feel some apprehension. Luckily, you can feel more at ease when you understand the process and what the recovery looks like. The dentist performing it will also have the knowledge and training to do an effective job.
The purpose of a wisdom tooth extraction
Removing wisdom teeth is a common procedure that many young adults and adults experience. The wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, usually emerge around the time a person hits age 20. They can grow in earlier or later than that, however. Often, there is little or no room in the mouth for these teeth, so removing them prevents extreme pain or the disruption of the existing teeth. Wisdom teeth removal also can ensure that the patient maintains good oral hygiene and does not have bite dysfunctions or alignment issues in the future.
Meet with the dentist
The dentist is a good resource to help the individual know when it is the right time to remove the wisdom teeth. Before getting a wisdom tooth extraction, the patient should visit with the dentist. The dentist can explain how the process works and discuss any concerns that the patient has. The dentist may recommend an oral surgeon, or the dentist may perform the surgery.
Wisdom tooth extraction will likely require that the dentist uses general anesthesia to put the patient to sleep. Consequently, the recovery time could take a few days to a week or longer. The patient should arrange to take a few days off work. Also, the patient should not drive home from the surgery but should instead ask a family member or friend to help with transportation. Consider other issues such as who will care for children, pets, and household needs during the recovery period.
A wisdom tooth extraction usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. The patient should wear loose-fitting clothes and should remove all jewelry. Using oral or IV sedation, the dentist will numb or put the patient to sleep. The dentist will cut into the gums to remove the teeth and then stitch up the patient to close the wounds.
Immediately after surgery, the individual may feel disoriented. Once at home, the patient should lie down and rest for the next 24 hours. It is important to avoid strenuous activities for the next few days as well. There will be some bleeding in the mouth, so the patient should keep gauze pads at the surgical site. Rinsing the mouth with salt water can soothe the pain and help the mouth heal from the wisdom tooth extraction. The person should avoid eating hard and chewy foods for about a week.
Make it a success
Wisdom tooth extraction may intimidate you, but you can be ready. Follow these steps to prepare for this surgery. If you have questions or concerns, contact the dentist. Your recovery can be complete, and you can enjoy good oral health.
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