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Dental Surgery

DENTAL SURGERY – Wisdom Tooth Extraction

     Our third molars, most commonly known as our wisdom teeth, are the last set of teeth to emerge (erupt) from our gums. Not everyone retains these molars, nor are they essential for having a healthy and brilliant smile. As a matter of fact, they might even cause harm if they don’t erupt properly, which normally happens more often than not in most individuals. When wisdom teeth erupts, usually when the person is in their late teens or early twenties, there may not be enough space left in the gums for them to emerge properly. This would result in various conditions and eventually lead to more serious oral health problems in the future

 

          FULLY-ERUPTED WISDOM TOOTH – Although your wisdom tooth may have fully emerged, they have a tendency to erupt in such an angle that its neighbouring teeth as well as the molar itself becomes difficult to clean, eventually trapping food debris or accumulating plaque around the area. Furthermore, if your wisdom tooth has fully-erupted in such an awkward angle, can directly affect the health of the more critical molar beside it. It is also likely that when wisdom tooth that erupts with a gap or without an opposing contact with another tooth needs to be extracted. A thoroughly clean wisdom tooth is also difficult to achieve because of its posterior location on our mouth.


          PARTIALLY-ERUPTED WISDOM TOOTH – A partially-erupted wisdom tooth condition typically happens when there is not enough space or when your gums are overcrowded, specifically in your lower jaw. As likely as not, a soft-tissue or “flap” will grow over the partially-erupted molar, and in the long run would trap bacterial. The accumulation of bacteria underneath will tend to develop an infection through the gingival tissues, and is one of the most common indications for an emergency wisdom tooth extraction. Obvious symptoms of the infection include gum inflammation, unpleasant odour and taste, presence of pain when biting with your back teeth, and in some cases, slimy pus coming out from the infected site. If left untreated, the infection might even cause you gums, cheeks, as well as jaws to swell.


          IMPACTED/EMBEDDED WISDOM TOOTH – An “impacted” wisdom tooth is a condition wherein the molar remains embedded beneath your gums. This typically happens when your jaw is not large enough for the tooth to emerge or erupt, resulting in pain or discomfort to your gums. Moreover, this condition may cause damage or cyst formation to its neighbouring tooth’s root and bone structure, suffice to say that immediate extraction is highly recommended.

 

     Whether or not your wisdom teeth are showing indications of the any of the conditions stated above, or you simply want an effective preventive measure against potential oral health problems in the future, then it is highly suggested to have them extracted. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people amidst the ages of 16 and 19 have their wisdom teeth evaluated to determine if they need to be extracted.

     A Wisdom Tooth Extraction is carried out by a dentist or an oral surgeon in a single-outpatient procedure. Fully-erupted and partially-erupted wisdom teeth undergoes normal tooth extraction methods, while impacted/embedded wisdom teeth beneath your jawbone requires your dentist or oral surgeon to place an incision into your gums and remove the molar/s in sections to reduce the amount of bone being removed. Tooth extraction is a form of surgery; it would certainly involve local or general anaesthetic options, depending on your preference, but while these options are used to carry out the wisdom teeth extraction procedure as comfortable as possible, pain and discomfort will be a part of the process, specifically after the anaesthesia wears off. The moment your teeth are pulled-out, wisdom teeth healing time begins.  


          POST-OPERATIVE AFTERCARE
Following your wisdom tooth extracted, you are likely to experience pain and swelling, but the discomfort can be reduced by medications prescribed by your dentist. Be sure to follow the prescriptions and other instructions for a faster and hassle-free recovery. Expect that some bleeding may still occur, especially if you’re not being careful enough to dislodge the blood clot while your mouth is healing. Be sure to follow a soft-diet for the first few days following your extraction. Avoid alcohol, coffee, soda, or hot beverages and remember not to brush your teeth on the first day of your recovery.
Typical wisdom teeth extraction recovery time is 3 to 4 days, but can extend up to a week, depending on how the extracted molars were impacted and how they were erupting. To make the recovery period easier, plan on taking things lightly for a few days; avoid anything that could possibly dislodge the blood clot from the extraction site to prevent unnecessary bleeding. With regards to the swelling, placing an ice pack over your jaw will help in reducing the inflammation as well as ease the discomfort associated with it. Rinsing your mouth with saltwater in a frequent manner will keep your mouth clean as well as preventing an infection from occurring.

     Within the next 2 to 3 weeks your gums will normally heal and your mouth should feel and function comfortably as usual. Absolute healing of the extraction site usually takes place within 4 weeks following the extraction procedure.

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