Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQ Lancaster, OH
General Wisdom Teeth Removal Overview
Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most common oral surgery procedures performed. The wisdom teeth usually come in or erupt between the teens and early twenties. For many people, they come in crooked, erupt partially, or become impacted in the jawbone. All of these scenarios can lead to severe problems as you grow older. We recommend removing your wisdom teeth as early as possible to avoid these issues. For most people, this means when you or your children are in their teens. The surgery is an outpatient procedure under anesthesia and typically takes about an hour.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
For most patients, we recommend having them removed in their teens or twenties. It is essential to do the procedure when you are young, as the roots of the teeth continue to grow as you age. If you are older, the roots of the wisdom teeth are longer. They may become entangled with nerve bundles in the jawbone or impinge on the sinuses, leading to complications and making removal more difficult. Healing is easier and faster when you are young, making getting your wisdom teeth removed easier.
Is it necessary to remove a wisdom tooth?
Not always, but we often find that an individual’s jawbone does not have enough room for the wisdom teeth to come in correctly. Left in place, they often shift, crowd other teeth, come in crooked, become infected, or develop a cyst below the surface. Any of these can lead to dental health issues such as infection. Removing your wisdom teeth after a problem has developed requires more extensive surgery and may lead to complications.
How do I know my wisdom teeth are coming in?
Regular dental checkups allow us to monitor your and your child’s teeth. X-rays and digital imaging give us advance warning that your wisdom teeth or coming in so we can schedule wisdom teeth removal before they become a problem. In between checkups, some symptoms may indicate your wisdom teeth eruption or an impacted wisdom tooth, including:
- A toothache or sore jaw
- Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
- Swelling in the mouth or jaw
- Chronic halitosis (bad breath)
- Pain when chewing
If you have any of these symptoms, contact Michaels’ Oral Surgery for an appointment. The sooner your wisdom teeth are removed, and any infection is treated, the sooner your symptoms are alleviated.
Is wisdom tooth removal painful?
You are sedated before your wisdom teeth are removed, so you will not feel any pain during the surgery. After you wake up from anesthesia, your sockets will be numb from a local anesthetic. You will have hardly any pain for the first 8-10 hours. After the local anesthetic wears off, you will experience some mild pain and swelling that can be controlled with medication and ice packs. By day three, you should not have any pain. Most people return to work and other activities the following day.
Experiencing Wisdom Teeth Issues?
Contact us with any questions or to schedule a consultation!
Dos and Don’ts After Wisdom Teeth Removal
- Do not brush your teeth or floss for 24 hours after surgery
- Periodically rinse your mouth with saltwater starting 24 hours after surgery
- Drink plenty of liquids, but do not use a straw, which can cause a dry socket
- A bland diet is essential for the first 24-36 hours
- Eat a soft diet (mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothies) for three days following surgery
- Use ice packs (30 minutes on and 30 minutes off) to reduce swelling
- Rest at home the first day
- Do not eat crunchy or hard foods
- Do not probe the area with your fingers or tongue
How long does it take to recover from wisdom tooth removal?
Most people return to daily activities within 3 days. If you have sutures, they will dissolve in about three to five days. While you may have some minor discomfort or swelling for two to three days, teens heal faster than adults, and young adults heal faster than older adults. The area should be healed within a week unless there are rare complications.
What is a dry socket?
After having your wisdom teeth removed, a blood clot forms in the empty tooth socket. This protects the area from debris and injury until it is healed. If the blood clot is dislodged, it creates a dry socket, exposing the damaged tissue and nerve endings to the air. It can be extremely painful. In most cases, dry socket pain cannot be controlled with over-the-counter analgesics (pain killers). If you believe you have a dry socket, contact our office immediately.
How can I make my wisdom teeth heal faster?
To encourage recovery and speed healing:
- Get lots of rest
- Keep your head elevated, even when sleeping
- Apply ice packs throughout the day for 48 hours, then warm compresses
- After the first 24 hours, gently rinse with warm salt water several times a day
- Stick with liquids and soft foods for a minimum of two or three days
What are some foods I can eat after wisdom teeth removal?
A standard soft diet is needed after wisdom tooth surgery. If you aren’t sure if a food is considered soft, try mashing it with a spoon. If you can’t easily mash it, it is not soft enough. Some foods that are ideal after wisdom tooth surgery are:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Mashed bananas
- Smooth soups
- Milkshakes (no straws!)
- Smoothies (no straws!)
- Cooked, soft vegetables
- Watermelon, cut into small pieces
- Refried beans
- Over-cooked pasta
If you or your child are interested in wisdom teeth removal, please contact our office at Michaels Oral Surgery Office Phone Number 740-654-6628. We are happy to answer your questions and can schedule an appointment for a wisdom tooth evaluation.