The removal of a wisdom tooth or third molars is one of the most common procedures carried out all over. The wisdom teeth grow at the back of your gums and are the last teeth to come through. Most people have four wisdom teeth – one in each corner. Wisdom teeth usually grow through the gums during the late teens or early twenties. By this time, the other 28 adult teeth are usually in place, so there isn’t always enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow properly.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon or your dentist can remove (extract) a wisdom tooth. Before removing a wisdom tooth, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. A general anesthetic may be used, especially if several or all of your wisdom teeth will be removed at the same time. A general anesthetic prevents pain in the whole body and will cause you to sleep through the procedure. Your dentist will probably recommend that you don’t eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery so that you are prepared for the anesthetic.
The procedure to remove the wisdom tooth is like the dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. He or she will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Sometimes the dentist will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After the tooth is removed, there may be a chance that you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed. A folded cotton gauze pad placed over the wound will help stop the bleeding.
Things to keep in mind:
You should make an appointment to see your dentist if you’re experiencing severe pain or discomfort from your wisdom teeth. Your dentist will check your teeth and advise you on whether they need to be removed.
A wisdom tooth is extracted to correct an actual problem or to prevent problems that may come up in the future.
As with all surgery, there is risk associated with removing the wisdom tooth. These include infection or delayed healing, both of which are more likely if you smoke during your recovery.
Another possible complication is a “dry socket”, which is a dull, aching sensation in your gum or jaw, and sometimes a bad smell or taste coming from the empty tooth socket. Dry socket is more likely if you don’t follow the aftercare instructions given by your dentist.