An adult mouth should have 32 teeth, but the last four molars don’t always appear. In fact, 35% of the population never get the third wave of molars known as wisdom teeth. However, 85% of adults do eventually need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. The reasons for this vary from overcrowding and pain or infections to the wisdom teeth growing in crooked or unexpected cysts forming. Regardless of the reason for removal, pain is often the leading symptom of the need for extraction. The concept or discovery of needing your wisdom teeth removed can be overwhelming or scary. But it certainly doesn’t have to be as long as you realize up front what to expect before and after with wisdom teeth removal.
What Should You Expect or Plan for Prior to Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Like most dental procedures, wisdom tooth removal begins with an initial exam. Regardless of whether pain is present, an X-Ray may be required. This is so the dentist can see if the teeth are compacted, if they’re crooked, and alert him to any potential issues prior to extraction. Prepare for the post-removal healing fest prior to the procedure. Stock up on soft foods like soup and applesauce. Buy some ice packs if you don’t have any available. And schedule a day or two off work or school so you can heal. Bring a buddy or someone you trust with you on the day of the procedure. Anesthesia will usually be required, and the medication will make you groggy, incoherent at times, and impossible to drive yourself home safely.
What Can You Expect During Wisdom Tooth Extraction
After weeks and sometimes months of pain, discomfort, and some really gross things oozing from your mouth, chances are you’ll be ready to yank the teeth out yourself. But hold on. Your Johns Creek dentist has the knowledge and experience to make sure everything’s done correctly and efficiently while sparing you as much discomfort as possible. While there are four wisdom teeth, your dentist may not pull all of them. He should, however, inform you of how many need to be extracted. The procedure can take anywhere from 45-minutes to several hours depending on the number of teeth needing to be removed. Pre-surgical instructions may include avoiding certain medications and blood thinners like aspirin for a day or so before the procedure.
Don’t get overly worked up or anxious over the procedure. Your dentist can provide a local anesthetic to numb the injection site and you’ll be under full or sleep sedation during the procedure. Your Johns Creek dentist prioritizes customer satisfaction, so discuss any worries or concerns prior to the extraction. And take comfort in the knowledge that there will be no unexpected surprises on the day of the procedure.
Also be sure to plan for potential post-procedure pain and discomfort while healing. Ice packs and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen are often enough to ward off the pain, at least enough to rest and recover. Other home remedies such as tea bags and salt water rinses have been medically proven to work well. However, if that’s still not enough or if the pain is severe, your Johns Creek dentist may be able to provide a special dental healing gel to help numb the pain entirely so you can heal in peace.