Wisdom teeth removal has been one of the most frequent oral surgeries done throughout the world. A wisdom teeth itself is the final set of molars which grow on the corners of mouth in late teens or early twenties. In ancient humans, these teeth were needed to chew raw meat and plants, which needs strong efforts. Therefore, wisdom teeth can actually be functional. Commonly, adults develop four wisdom teeth, one in each gum, although some people do have more than four wisdom teeth.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
When wisdom teeth are aligned properly, there might be less toothache complaints. However, there are certain circumstances which are going to require wisdom teeth removal, such as:
Impacted wisdom teeth
A normal, properly grow wisdom tooth will break through the gum and grow in similar position with the other teeth. However, there are many people experiencing improperly growing wisdom teeth. This is called impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the teeth do not have enough room to grow properly. As a result, the teeth grow on the wrong direction or might be pressing the tooth next to it. This might cause severe pains, inflamed jaws, and limited jaw movement. An impacted tooth may be harmful as it does not only suppress the tooth next to it, but is also be able to affect the internal nerves.
Infected wisdom teeth
An impacted wisdom tooth is not the only circumstance which requires an extraction. A properly grown wisdom tooth can be prone to infection as the result of trapped food excess in the gum where this tooth grows. This leftover food crumbs might promote bacterial infection which can be capable of causing various health problem. Infection might shows similar symptoms to an impacted tooth and will need an observation before an oral surgery decides whether or not the tooth should be extracted.
How do I prepare myself for the extraction surgery?
One thing mostly asked about surgical procedures is about how severe it would be. In fact, wisdom teeth removal is commonly performed as an outpatient surgery, which enables the patient to go home the same day. A local anesthesia is commonly give to make the operated area numb and to minimize the pain it may cause. Thus, regarding the procedure, you might want to anticipate the post-operative pains, although the surgeon will give you antibiotics and anti-inflammation to minimize it.
Do I have to fast prior to the procedure and for how long?
Most of the time, oral surgeon uses a local anesthesia which is injected to the gum before the tooth removal procedure only to make the area numb during extraction procedure. As this is actually a simple procedure which does not involve the main organs under anesthesia, so that fasting before the procedure is not definitely necessary. A local anesthesia will only minimize the pain, but you will still be able to hear all the sounds produced during the operation. However, when the surgeon requires a sedation which affects your consciousness during the procedure, pre-operative fasting might be required. The purpose is to minimize the risk of pulmonary aspiration, which may interrupt the running procedure and causes patient to choke. A sedation will prevent you from hearing the drills sound used during surgery and to feel any caused pains. Six-hour pre-operative fasting is required should your surgeon suggests a sedation. Do not take any solid foods and liquids during the suggested period.
What will I experience after the procedure?
Post-operative period is a really important phase in recovering the treated area. After a wisdom tooth removal you might experience swollen jaws, limited jaw movements, and even bruises on your facial skin. This is normal and is going to decrease within days. Eat only soft foods which do not require any molars effort to chew. In addition, you have to avoid drinking with straws as this may affect the blood clot on your socket and thus might cause bleeding. You should also avoid brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours post-surgery. The stitches should be removed by the surgeon in approximately a week after the procedure performed.