A common and safe procedure
Problematic wisdom teeth or impacted wisdom teeth are often preventatively removed before they have the chance to cause problems. Wisdom teeth can be impacted, which means the tooth does not fully erupt through the gums. This can cause pain, and a flap of skin called an operculum may form over the tooth, making it difficult to clean. This leaves the tooth vulnerable to infection, pain, and swelling.
Sometimes a single wisdom tooth is extracted, and in other cases, all four are extracted during a single procedure. You and your dentist will determine whether local anesthetic or general anesthesia is ideal based on your specific case.
The tooth (or teeth) will be loosened and removed after the gum tissue is cut to reveal the tooth. Sometimes, the tooth must be broken into smaller pieces because it is impacted so tightly. Sutures are typically used to close the area following the extraction.
Following surgery, you will need to be driven home by a trusted friend or family member. Gauze will be applied post-surgery and you will need to change it periodically until the bleeding stops. Remaining upright while resting immediately following the surgery is important–laying down can prolong bleeding. You may be provided with a pain medication prescription and/or a cleaning solution for the extraction site. Ice may help with the pain.
You will be limited to a diet of soft foods following your surgery. Until your dentist gives you the go-ahead to eat solids, stick with pudding, ice cream, soups, and other soft foods and liquids.
It is important not to drink from a straw during the healing process. Sucking (as well as smoking) can loosen sutures and prolong the clotting process.
If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours following surgery, call your dentist right away.