Dentists loathe to extract teeth, as their job is to preserve all of your teeth for as long as possible, but certain conditions make it unavoidable. Wisdom tooth extractions become necessary more frequently than with any other tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth, infected wisdom teeth, wisdom teeth that have irregular growth patterns and are likely to be decayed again and again are usually pulled as they do not affect the alveolus as much as other teeth, but are a serious, recurring risk to your health. In these cases, the wisdom teeth are pulled, and very often they are surgically extracted. Surgical extraction of wisdom teeth is quite common, and is not as scary as it sounds. Here is what you can expect from a wisdom tooth extraction, broken down into steps.
The first step to any dental procedure, especially one that may involve oral surgery is to have a consultation. During the consultation session, a diagnosis is set up of your oral condition, and x-rays are made. These are needed because wisdom teeth frequently have irregular growing patterns and irregular tooth roots, which means that the dentist has to know ahead of time what is under the gum line, before extraction begins, to ensure that the nerves and other teeth will not be affected. The consultation session is also necessary so you get to know the dentist and can ask any and all questions you may have regarding treatment.
Extraction sites have a high propensity to become infected or otherwise colonized by bacterial life. To prevent this from occurring, some preliminary treatments, like fillings, root canals or removal of plaque and a hygiene session may be necessary before the wisdom tooth extraction begins. The extraction is ALWAYS preceded by a consultation session, in which x-rays are made and analyzed, and the best course of action is decided upon, only afterwards can the wisdom tooth extraction occur.
The wisdom tooth extraction procedure itself is most often a one stop procedure, even if there are complications, it should not last more than 90 minutes, but it is usually done in half an hour. Surgical wisdom tooth extractions usually take a bit more time. The procedure is done under local anaesthetic, and is thus completely pain free, but you may hear some disturbing sounds, and there might be quite a bit of blood present. These are not to be feared, and are part of the treatment.
Aftercare and the blood clot
The most important part of the procedure happens after it’s done. It is vitally important that you keep all of the guidelines provided by your dentist after your wisdom tooth is extracted. These are not polite recommendations, these are mandatory terms that must be obeyed, or you risk an infection, or a dry socket, two of the most painful experiences that you can have. After a tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms over the extraction site. It is vitally important that this blood clot not be removed or dislodged in any way, or otherwise the site cannot heal and will become dry or infected, causing greater pain than ever. Do not suck the area, rinse only with warm water very gently, and do not eat food for 24 hours after getting the tooth extracted, and afterwards, only soft foods. NO smoking and no alcohol for at least 48 hours after extraction. For a full list of do’s and don’ts, ask your dentist for aftercare instructions.