A Helpful Q&A on What To Expect From a Wisdom Tooth Extraction  

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Do you need to have wisdom teeth pulled, whether from crowding in your mouth, a molar coming in wrong or being infected? Today’s state-of-the-art technology makes wisdom tooth extraction easier and more comfortable with proven sedation methods. Check out some of the most common questions we get about wisdom tooth extractions so you feel more prepared and confident about treatment!  

Q. How will I know if my wisdom tooth needs to be taken out?  

 A. Your dentist often spots a wisdom tooth that needs extracting at your routine dental checkup. These third molars need to come in correctly so you can clean between them and make sure the gums around them are not harboring infection-causing bacteria. They need ample room to erupt, and you do not want an impacted wisdom tooth with a cyst that could harm the bone or the roots of neighboring teeth.

 Q. What do I need to do to prepare for my wisdom tooth extraction?  

 A. Now is the time to express any concerns, like how comfortable you will be made or how long the procedure and the recovery will take, anything that you want answers to.

 Q. I’ve heard about something called a dry socket after a wisdom tooth extraction. What is that?  

 A. A dry socket happens when your post-surgical blood clot becomes loose from your socket, exposing the bone underneath. This condition is often painful and slows down your socket’s healing process. Should this occur, we will keep you as comfortable as possible.

 Q. What do I need to do before my extraction?  

 A. You will need to arrange for a driver to bring you to and from your surgery. You will also need to adhere to all post-surgery dietary restrictions. You will need to clear your current medical prescriptions including any over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that you take daily as they may affect healing.

 Q. How will you keep me comfortable during the procedure?

 A. We offer local anesthesia that is placed via injection at the site once we have applied a numbing agent. You will still be awake and feel some pressure at the surgical site but no pain. We also offer sedation anesthesia that is given intravenously through an IV line with a numbing agent applied to your gums. You will sleep and feel no pain during the surgery. The third option is getting general anesthesia which you simply inhale and sleep comfortably.

Q. How will my wisdom tooth be removed?  

 A. Our oral surgeon will carefully make an incision in your gums, exposing your tooth and the bone beneath it. If the bone is preventing access to your wisdom tooth, it will be taken out so we can divide the tooth into parts that are easier to extract. Once the tooth is out, we will clean the area and suture the socket. We will place sterile gauze over the site to stop the bleeding and facilitate clotting.

 Q. What can I expect after my wisdom tooth removal?  

 A. You will be in a recovery room while the anesthesia wears off unless you had a local, then you might recover in the procedure chair you are in.

 Q. Are there aftercare instructions?   

A. Yes! You will be given thorough aftercare instructions. You will need to change out your gauze every half hour or so until the bleeding stops. Drink as much water as you need (no straw) and stick to liquids and soft foods for a couple of days. Over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen can be taken along with an ice pack applied outside the area. It should be okay to go back to your normal routine the next day but don’t do anything strenuous for around a week until the wound is properly healed.   

Before you know it, your mouth will feel better, and you will never have to worry about that problematic tooth again. We hope this information gives you the peace of mind you need to have your wisdom teeth taken out without fear or reservation. We are here for your healthy smile!