Dental procedures can often be a little nerve wracking; however, those who prepare themselves and ask questions of their dental professional ahead of time are likely to be more ready and have an easier time. Understanding the purpose and methods of procedures may help put your mind at ease and make the process a little less painful, literally and figuratively.
Wisdom teeth are the third molars that are present in the very back of the mouth. The usually show up between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one, and most people develop four.
This is not always the case, as some patients develop less or none and some grow supernumerary, or additional, wisdom teeth. These molars are the last to develop, and since most mouths can only comfortably hold twenty-eight out of the thirty-two that usually develop, it is customary to remove them.
Leaving them in the mouth and letting them grow in or erupt through gum tissue can cause a tight fit within the jaw or movement of other teeth out of alignment. Those that have reached early adulthood should set an appointment with their dentist and request x-rays of these molars.
They will be able to tell you whether or not it is necessary for you to have them removed. There are a number of different reasons why it is suggested that these are taken out.
Often, they grow in an abnormal position, whether they are tilted or sideways. When they do erupt, it can be difficult to keep them clean, which puts individuals at more of a risk of experiencing decay or infections from bacteria.
They can also get in the way of the normal bite pattern when the jaws are shut and throw off the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Sometimes, they become impacted and are trapped below the gum line, which can be painful.
In general, it is advised for most adults to go through the procedure to have them removed in the late teens or early twenties. Though the surgery can still be done later on in life, it is much more painful and there is more a risk that someone will experience problems like dry sockets or abscesses.
If you and your surgeon decide it is best to go through with the procedure, make sure to ask enough questions so that you understand what the surgery and healing process will be like. Almost always, patients will need to be sedated and put under anesthesia to keep them from experiencing pain or pressure.
After this has taken place, the gum tissue that covers the area is removed, especially if the tooth is impacted. Much of the time, it will be at least partially covered in bone.
If this is the case, then the surgeon must drill away some of the bone and loosen the tooth from the connective tissue that is holding it into the jaw and mouth. Sometimes, it must be cut into sections to be completely removed from the socket.
Because patients are under when this takes place, there is no way that they will be able to feel it or experience pain. Once all of the tissue is taken out, the dentist must either refill it with artificial materials and then seal it up or simply stitch up the incision.
The individual is usually placed in a resting room after that to come out of the sedation and to relax until they are well enough to go home, usually about thirty minutes to an hour. Most dentists will require their patients to take an antibiotic to fight swelling and they will also prescribe a pain killer to keep them from discomfort and slow healing.
Even if you are not use to taking pain medication, it will be necessary, as the healing process goes by faster and better if you are not suffering through pain and hurting. The time that it takes for the mouth to repair itself is different for everyone, but it is usually between one or two weeks.
During this time, you may find that you are only able to eat liquids and very soft foods. Make sure to have plenty on hand before the procedure, so that they are ready when you get home.
If you notice any strange pains or after symptoms, it is necessary for you to call or visit your dentist or surgeon to make sure that you are not experiencing any infection. Being prepared for this process and understanding the surgery may help you to be less nervous and feel more prepared.