It is thought that at some point in our human evolution, we developed wisdom teeth for the need to chew on tough foods. Some of us, however, don’t develop them, and others have complications with them.
Well, the good news is, if you need wisdom tooth removal, it’s a relatively straightforward process. As well, you don’t have to worry about missing them as our diets now are from the same as our ancestors (chewing raw meat, for example).
So in this post, we’ll let you know the ins and outs of wisdom teeth removal. By the end of reading this, you should feel less anxious and more prepared for this common procedure. But if you’re super anxious, we’ll also let you know an option for removal that might suit your needs best.
Table of Contents
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Before we talk about what to expect with wisdom tooth extraction, let’s first determine why you might need it. And just so we’re clear, your wisdom teeth are the last set of molars at the back of your mouth. They tend to develop when you’re between the ages of 17 and 25.
One reason you might need these teeth removed is your mouth is too small. The main reason why you should have wisdom tooth removal surgery is if they are impacted. What does this mean? Impaction can refer to:
- Your wisdom teeth grow at an angle causing problems with your second molar
- Your wisdom teeth grow towards the back of your mouth
- Your wisdom teeth grow at a right angle in comparison to your other molars growth direction
With these impaction problems you could experience:
- Mild to severe pain
- Food getting trapped
- Gum disease or infection
- Tooth decay
- Bone and nearby tooth damage
- Cyst and fluid development
- The inability of an orthodontist to correct your teeth properly
In the end, it’s up to you whether you feel like you want them removed. It’s hard to predict whether such problems will persist or become worse. So dentists are not all in agreement that everyone should have their wisdom teeth removed because they are impacted.
How To Prepare for Tooth Extraction
Before you go into surgery, your dentist will explain the specific problem you have with your wisdom tooth or teeth. They will then suggest options for the types of procedures they could carry out.
If it’s a simple procedure, then it’s often the case the dentist will do it in their office. However, if you have more severe issues, your dentist may suggest you go to an oral surgeon with specialist skills to deal with your problem.
Whatever the case, you will have to tell your dentist about any health issues you have and if you are taking any regular drugs. Furthermore, you will need to discuss a good time for the procedure and then ask as many questions as you wish at this point to put your mind at ease.
Types of Anaesthesia for Tooth Removal
If you are anxious about going to the dentist for such a procedure there is a last resort option anesthesia you can opt for which might help you a lot. Although don’t rule out the other options.
The type of anesthesia you get will often depend on the complexity and potentially how painful a procedure could be. Trust your dentist with their judgment on this if you can. After all, they are professionals and carry out these procedures all the time.
This is where your dentist gives you one or two injections next to your problemed wisdom tooth. Also, before they administer the injections, they’ll apply a numbing agent on the area to reduce any discomfort you might feel from the injections.
With local anesthesia, you will be awake during the process. However, it is unlikely you will feel any pain. Instead, you will feel some pressure and movement at times.
This is the next level up from the local version. Your dentist will first give you an intravenous injection (IV) into your arm to sedate you. The purpose of this sedation is to calm you, and you’ll become unaware of most of what happens. This is because the sedation will suppress your consciousness.
Along with the sedation, you’ll also have a local anesthetic as we explained above. So if you’re feeling anxious, you can ask for this type of anesthesia.
For those that need it, general anesthesia is available. Many in the business who operate in this way call it “sleep dentistry.” This is because if you opt for this type of anesthesia, you will be unconscious throughout the process.
There are two ways, which oral surgeons often use in combination, to put you to sleep before dental surgery. They may give you breathable medication or an IV into your arm (or both to varying degrees).
In this type of operation, there will be a dental team monitoring your different levels. These levels include your blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, medication, and more.
We should say that you should see general anesthetic as a last resort when it comes to wisdom tooth removal. Although general anesthetic is often very safe with few risks, there are some to do with the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. However, if it is necessary, it’s the safest way to operate.
You’ll feel nothing throughout the whole procedure. Plus, when you wake up, you’ll be able to get a local anesthetic to deal with discomfort and pain.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Explained
You should now have a much better idea of what to expect with wisdom tooth removal. In the end, you’ll be dealing with professionals who know how to make you feel as comfortable as possible throughout the whole process.
So, many thanks for checking out this post. If you find it useful, please take a look at some of our other posts on our blog.