In prehistoric times, our ancestors may have needed a third set of molars for chewing fibrous leaves and raw meat, but nowadays, wisdom teeth can be more of a liability. In addition to causing jaw and gum pain, they can also cause serious health problems if left unaddressed. Because of this, dentists often recommend removing wisdom teeth if they can’t come in properly. Thanks to modern sedation dentistry, this procedure isn’t nearly as daunting or painful as it sounds.
Why Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Important?
- Wisdom teeth can cause a lot of pain if grown in from the wrong angle.
- They can cause your other teeth to become misaligned or damaged.
- Bacteria and food particles can get trapped in your gums if your wisdom teeth partially erupt.
- Trapped food particles and bacteria can cause a dangerous infection called pericoronitis,
Wisdom Tooth Surgery: Myths & Facts
Like most people, you’ve probably heard horror stories about waking up terrified during wisdom tooth removal. Some people believe that the physical and emotional pain associated with this procedure will be unbearable; however, with a good dentist, you won’t have to worry about this. With modern dental techniques and sedation dentistry, wisdom tooth extraction is usually a relatively painless experience.
What To Expect During Your Wisdom Teeth Removal
As wisdom tooth removal is usually an outpatient surgical procedure, you’ll most likely be sedated, so you won’t feel or remember a thing. If your teeth are impacted, the dentist will open up your gums, extract the teeth, and stitch up the incisions while you’re sleeping peacefully.
If your wisdom teeth have already emerged, you can instead have a simple, nonsurgical extraction. If this is the case, you might not necessarily need to be sedated—although you can certainly still request it if desired.
Different Levels Of Sedation
- Minimal Sedation (With Laughing Gas Or Benzodiazepines For Anxiety Relief)
- Twilight Sedation
- Deep Sedation
- IV Sedation
- General Anesthesia
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Aftercare
After your procedure, certain steps are essential to accelerate healing, minimize pain, and prevent a painful complication known as dry socket. Your dentist or oral surgeon will give you detailed instructions on what to eat, how to keep your mouth clean, and how often to take your medication. You’ll also want to avoid driving or operating machinery for a day or two while recovering from anesthesia.
How Soon Will Your Gums Heal After Wisdom Extraction?
Since wisdom tooth extraction is usually a surgical procedure, you’ll probably want to take several days off from work or school to relax to allow your gums to heal. Some people find that they are able to resume their normal activities after three days or so. Others may need to take at least a week off depending on the complexity of their extraction and the type of job they have. Everybody heals differently, so it’s okay to give yourself some extra time to get well again if you’re not ready yet.
Ways To Prevent Dry Socket
- Refrain from brushing, flossing, spitting, or rinsing for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
- Avoid drinking from straws or sippy cups.
- Don’t smoke, vape, or drink alcohol while your gums are still healing.
- After 24 hours, it is usually safe to start brushing again, but avoid the extraction sites.
- Gently rotate your head while holding water in your mouth instead of swishing after you brush your teeth.
- Don’t poke at your stitches with your fingers, tongue, or toothbrush, as this can disrupt the blood clot.
- Sleep on your back or in a semi-seated position instead of on your side or stomach.
- Let all food and drinks cool to room temperature before consuming them.
- Eat soft foods that do not require chewing (e.g., pudding, Jello, oatmeal, ice cream, and pureed vegetables).
- Stay away from standard mouthwash while the clots are still healing.
- If you take hormonal birth control, consider scheduling your tooth extraction towards the end of your pill packet, as high estrogen levels increase your risk of dry socket.
- Continue taking all antibiotics and pain meds as prescribed, even if you feel like you don’t need them.
Wisdom Tooth Dentist In Las Vegas
For wisdom tooth removal in Las Vegas, our gentle sedation dentists at Nevada Dentistry & Braces can help. With anesthesia, pain meds, and good aftercare, you’ll be able to have a quick and comfortable recovery. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.