When Do You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Virginia Beach, VA
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars to erupt, usually between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five. Located at the back of the mouth, you might not see them without the aid of an X-ray. At times we need to extract them. Most patients are fully healed and return to their regular activities after a few days. Here’s what you can expect.
Why do Wisdom Teeth need Removal?
There are a variety of reasons why we might need to take out your wisdom teeth. For example, since they’re at the back of the mouth, they might not erupt properly. If they become trapped in the gums or jaw bone (a process is known as impaction), you can suffer pain.
We also remove them if your mouth isn’t big enough to support another set of molars or if they erupt at the wrong angle and push up against your other teeth. If your wisdom teeth come in properly but develop gum disease or cavities, later on, you may have trouble reaching them with a brush or dental floss. For that reason, we also pull wisdom teeth before they erupt as a preventative measure.
Before the surgery, we’ll schedule a consultation between you and Shaun B. Rai DMD. During this appointment, you’ll discuss which medications you’re on and any health problems you have, as well as which kind of anesthesia you’ll receive. Come prepared with any questions you may have about the procedure. You also may need to schedule time off from school or work and arrange a ride to and from our office.
The surgery shouldn’t take more than forty-five minutes. You’ll receive anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. Shaun B. Rai DMD may need to cut the bone or gums to remove the teeth, and if he does he’ll stitch shut the wounds to expedite the healing process. The stitches will likely dissolve a few days later. He also places gauze pads in the mouth to absorb blood.
The Recovery Period
The immediate recovery period will depend on which kind of anesthesia you received and how you respond to it as an individual. If you feel alert after receiving a local anesthetic, we may let you drive yourself home and resume your everyday activities and work soon after. However, if you received a general anesthetic or still have feelings of drowsiness, someone will need to come and get you.
Most patients hardly have any pain following the surgery, but you may have to deal with some discomfort and swelling for about three days afterward. It may take a few weeks until your mouth fully heals. Follow Shaun B. Rai DMD’s instructions for the recovery period.
Recommendations for the First Three Days after Surgery
For the first three days after the surgery, drink plenty of water and eat soft foods like rice, pasta or soup. Exercise your jaw by gently opening and closing your mouth. If you experience any swelling or color changes in the skin, use an ice pack. If your jaw becomes sore, apply moist heat. Take the medication we prescribe to ease any swelling or pain. Contact us if you get a fever, or if the swelling or pain won’t go away.
Blood clots help the mouth heal, so avoid doing anything to loosen them. Don’t brush your teeth until the second day after the surgery and don’t brush near any blood clots. Avoid straw use, as you can loosen blood clots if you suck. Don’t eat foods that are crunchy, hard, or sticky and don’t rinse your mouth too vigorously. Also refrain from smoking, as this can slow the healing process.
For more information, please contact our office at (757) 425-5781.