For many young adults, the eruption of wisdom teeth can cause problems. These final molars often become impacted or only partially emerge in the mouth. That’s why dentists frequently recommend wisdom tooth removal surgery, especially for problematic or partially erupted third molars.
If your dentist suggests removing your wisdom teeth, it’s wise not to delay this treatment. Timely removal can prevent more serious issues from developing. However, it’s normal to feel anxious about having oral surgery. You can ease worries and recover smoothly by learning what to expect before, during, and after wisdom tooth extraction.
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Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Your dentist will advise extracting your wisdom teeth if they are:
- Partially impacted below the gums, which can lead to infection
- Growing in sideways or crooked due to lack of space
- Causing misalignment by pushing on other teeth
- Damaging adjacent teeth or roots
- Developing cysts around the crown
- Causing persistent pain, swelling or inflammation
- Disrupting orthodontic treatment
Don’t wait for an emergency to have problematic wisdom teeth taken out. Schedule the procedure before your symptoms worsen. Timely removal prevents extensive decay, gum disease, and other dental complications.
How Wisdom Tooth Extraction is Performed
Oral surgeons perform wisdom tooth removal surgery, usually under local anesthesia and intravenous (IV) sedation for relaxation. Here’s what you can expect:
- The surgeon will examine your teeth with X-rays first to plan the extraction.
- An anesthetic will be administered to numb the area for your comfort.
- A small incision will be made in the gum to expose the impacted tooth.
- Bone tissue covering the tooth will be removed if necessary.
- The tooth will be carefully extracted. Stitches close the site.
Thanks to modern techniques, wisdom teeth removal Las Vegas NV, can be performed quickly as an outpatient procedure with minimal recovery time.
Post-Op: Caring for Your Mouth After Surgery
Following wisdom tooth removal, be diligent about aftercare to prevent complications. Here are some tips for a smooth recovery:
- Control bleeding – Bite down gently on gauze to stop bleeding. Don’t rinse vigorously.
- Manage pain – Use ice packs and OTC medication as directed for discomfort.
- Reduce swelling – Apply cold compresses to minimize facial swelling.
- Eat soft foods – Stick to a liquid diet initially, then gradually add soft foods.
- Practice oral hygiene – Brush gently after 24 hours, taking care around stitches.
- Limit activity – Avoid strenuous exercise and activities for at least 1-2 days.
Follow all of your surgeon’s post-op instructions carefully for optimal healing. Most tenderness and swelling should subside within a week.
Recovering After Wisdom Tooth Surgery
Give your body adequate time to heal after oral surgery. Recovery time depends on your individual case, but here’s an approximate timeline of what to expect:
- Days 1-3 – The most discomfort and swelling occurs during the first few days. Stick to soft foods and lots of fluids. Use ice packs to relieve pain. Avoid rinsing or disturbing the surgery site.
- Days 4-7 – Swelling and stiffness start improving by the second half of the first week. Transition to soft, nutritious foods like scrambled eggs, yogurt and soups. Brush teeth gently.
- Week 2 – Most patients turn the corner at the start of the second week. Swelling dissipates further and pain becomes mild. You can resume light activity.
- Weeks 3-4 – Stitches dissolve during this time. Swelling should be minimal and you can stop taking pain medication. Slowly resume your normal diet.
Call your oral surgeon if you have any concerns during your recovery, like severe pain or fever. Otherwise, be patient and allow your body time to heal.
The Cost of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The price of wisdom tooth removal depends on several factors:
- Number of teeth being extracted
- Level of impaction
- Need for surgical exposure
- Type of anesthesia
- Geographic location and clinic fees
On average, you can expect to pay:
- $75 – $200 per tooth for simple extraction under local anesthetic
- $150 – $400 per tooth for surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth
Many dental insurance plans provide coverage for wisdom tooth extraction, especially when medically necessary. But confirm costs beforehand with your oral surgeon and insurance provider.
Preparing for Your Wisdom Tooth Removal
These tips can help you get ready for smooth wisdom tooth extraction surgery and recovery:
- Schedule when you can take time to heal – Have the surgery when you can take a few days off work or school.
- Arrange a ride home – You will be given anesthesia, so you cannot drive yourself after surgery.
- Stock up on soft foods – Have items like applesauce, protein shakes, soup and yogurt on hand.
- Get ice packs ready – Cold compresses help minimize swelling and pain. Frozen peas work too.
- Take time off from smoking – Avoid smoking for a few days before and after surgery.
- Set up a recovery area – Prepare an area where you can rest quietly and elevate your head.
- Take it easy – Don’t plan any big events right after surgery. Let your body heal.
By taking the time to properly prepare, you can ensure your wisdom tooth extraction and recovery go as smoothly as possible.
Looking Ahead After Wisdom Tooth Removal
Getting your problematic wisdom teeth extracted is a wise investment in your long-term oral health. While recovering from surgery may feel unpleasant in the days following the procedure, focus on the benefits:
- Your mouth will be free from the pain of impacted wisdom teeth.
- You’ll avoid serious problems like infections and cysts down the road.
- Nearby teeth will no longer be at risk of damage.
- Your smile and dental health will be preserved for years to come.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a rite of passage for many adults. This standard procedure can be completed with minimal discomfort with proper planning and care. Looking forward to an improved, healthy mouth will help you through the short-term inconvenience until you smile confidently again.