Wisdom tooth surgical extraction

Wisdom teeth are the four very last teeth on each side of the jaw. These are the final teeth that grow during the late teenage years and early twenties. They are not extra teeth and if we have enough jaw size they grow properly and work very well.

 

As they are the last teeth to develop, normally the jaw has been occupied with other teeth and if the jaw size is not right, they can’t erupt in the right position so they become either impacted or half erupted. They tend to push against the front teeth to open space for themselves causing pain on the jaw or crowding of the front teeth.

 

Sometimes, in cases of poor oral hygiene, food gets stuck between the gum and a half-erupted tooth and gum swelling and a painful infection called as pericoronitis, can occur.

 

It is very important to keep the wisdom teeth clean as they tend to get more food impaction than other teeth and they are prone to decay earlier than other teeth.

 

Wisdom tooth extraction:

 

If the wisdom tooth is erupted but is decayed or infected, it is extracted like a normal tooth. However, if it is embedded in the bone, we need to access the tooth through the gum. In the case of hard tissue impaction, the bone needs to be removed from the tooth.

 

Sometimes, if there is a risk of damage to the front teeth during the surgery, we need to section the tooth and remove it in pieces.

 

It goes without saying that all these procedures are done under topical or general anaesthesia and the patient doesn’t feel any pain.

 

After the removal of the tooth, we pack the wound with sterile gauze. Sometimes small stitches are needed to prevent any bleeding. Recovery time is normally 48 to 72 hours.

 

Post-operative considerations:

 

  • Biting on the gauze for an hour and avoiding spitting or drinking anything through a straw helps to prevent secondary bleeding.

  • Applying an ice pack on the face around the surgical area every 15 to 20 min prevents swelling and inflammation

  • Maintaining oral hygiene is very important during the healing phase and regularly using a mouth wash in addition to brushing will prevent any secondary infection

  • Pain killer tablets, and sometimes antibiotics can be  prescribed

  • Smoking and drinking alcohol should be avoided

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