WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth or third molars are the last teeth to develop. Usually these set of teeth emerge among late teens around the ages of 16 to early 20’s. Wisdom teeth can be found on each of the four corners of our jaws. Not everyone keeps these teeth as it’s unnecessary. In fact, some are forced to remove them because it is causing harm to their dental health.
How Does It Occur?
When these molars come in, often times there may not be enough room left for them to erupt. And so wisdom teeth usually are not aligned well and their positions may vary from being horizontal or even angled inwards or outwards. At times they might even be buried under our gums which can lead to further oral problems.
Why Remove Wisdom Tooth?
There may even be a possibility that there isn’t adequate room for wisdom teeth to erupt as our jaws aren’t big enough for them to come in. And if there isn’t sufficient space for them to erupt properly, wisdom teeth tend to grow in at an angle that can cause unwanted discomfort.
Infections and pain usually occur when third molars (wisdom teeth) damage the second molars (the teeth next to it). The partial emergence of a wisdom tooth will also cause an infection of the tooth because it creates an opening for bacteria to enter.
Also, having wisdom teeth makes brushing and flossing extra challenging as molars are at locations where normal toothbrushes cannot reach. When wisdom teeth aren’t given proper care; tooth decay usually happens and worse, gum diseases.
All of these can be avoided if you were to have your mouth checked before the age of 20 to track the development of your wisdom teeth. More often than not, dentists recommend that patients have wisdom tooth removal surgery before they become a problem.
This is integral to avoid complicated surgeries in the future, because a fully erupted wisdom tooth through the gum is much more easier to be extracted as compared to impacted wisdom tooth that are buried under the gums. For the latter, gum incisions and the removal of wisdom teeth can only be done in small fragments which can cause a bigger wound and inflict more pain.
Things To Be Aware Of & What To Expect (Before and After Surgery)
If you’ve been persuaded to have a wisdom tooth extraction; here are a few things you have to take note of for pre and post surgery.
During consultation before wisdom tooth surgery, remember to ask questions!
It is important for you to know about your dental condition and discuss the risk or complications that may arise while undergoing surgery. Also, it will be very helpful for your dentist to know if there are any underlying health issues you are facing and to list down the drugs or supplements you need on a daily basis. This is ensure that any complications for anesthesia can be avoided during the procedure of wisdom tooth removal.
Feel free to ask your surgeon on what options of anesthesia are on offer (local / IV sedation / general).
The removal of wisdom tooth can usually be done in one procedure but there may be certain exceptions. It’s imperative to know how many procedures are required and which wisdom teeth need to be removed.
During the first 24 hours after your wisdom tooth surgery, there are a few symptoms that may occur:
- Facial swelling
- Facial bruising
- Pain and jaw stiffness
Do not worry, as these are common symptoms after wisdom tooth extraction. Should there be no improvements with the pain and bleeding after two weeks, consult with your dentist immediately.
The Do’s & Don’ts
- Curb swelling by placing an ice pack on your face
- Apply moist heat if you have a sore jaw
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Practice a soft liquid diet for the first few days
- Gently rinse your mouth with water after meals to keep your mouth clean
- Start brushing your teeth on the second day (refrain from brushing blood clots)
- Take painkillers as prescribed by your doctor to help with the pain & swelling
- Make an appointment with your doctor if the pain and swelling doesn’t subside or if you have a fever.
- Don’t drink with a straw as slurping may cause blood clots to loosen (they help with healing your mouth)
- Don’t rinse your mouth too vigorously, rinse gently with mouthwash instead
- Don’t eat crunchy, solid hard, or sticky foods that may scratch the wounds
- Don’t smoke as it will cause pain, infection and poor wound healing
Nowadays, the removal of wisdom tooth is more and more common. There are people who remove wisdom tooth just to have a thinner jaw. So, there is nothing to be afraid of to undergo a wisdom tooth surgery.
Wisdom tooth removal is available in the following clinics:
- The Dental Studio (Paragon)
- The Dental Studio (OUE Downtown)
FIRST 24 HOURS POST SURGERY
- Bleeding – A small amount of bleeding post surgery may occur. Avoid rinsing your mouth rigorously. Adhere to instructions provided by your dentist on controlling bleeding
- Facial swelling – Some facial swelling may surface over the next 2 to 3 days and is a normal response as the body heals and recovers
- Facial bruising – As part of the healing process, these bruises (if any) might appear initially and will gradually subside and fade after a week or two
- Discomforts such as pain and jaw stiffness – Some pain and jaw stiffness may also be experienced post surgery. Your dentist will prescribe you with anti-inflammatory medications to relieve these discomforts
- Soft liquid diet – You are strongly encouraged to consume soft and cool meals such as porridge, noodles or even ice cream for the first few days after surgery. Gently rinse your mouth with water after meals to help keep your mouth clean
- Oral hygiene – Gentle brushing continues except on the extracted tooth/teeth site(s). Smoking should be stopped to reduce occurrence of pain, infections and poor wound healing
Like all surgeries, wisdom tooth extraction does bear some risks and complications. Our dentist will be glad to assess and discuss these concerns.
If you’re planning to have a wisdom tooth extraction, book an appointment with us and consult with our specialists at The Dental Studio.