Wisdom Teeth Removal -- What's It All About?

Dentist Blog

You've been told that you need to have your wisdom teeth removed. If they're not causing you pain, you may be wondering why. Read on for reasons that wisdom teeth are extracted and what's entailed.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

They are the last set of molars you get at the back of your mouth, also known as the third molars. There are four in total and they usually come in from the late teens to the mid-twenties when the rest of your teeth are generally in place.

Why Do They Need Removing?

There are several reasons that you may need to have these teeth removed. One of the most common reasons is because they're impacted. This means they are trapped in your gums or jawbones and unlikely to grow in properly, which can lead to problems and pain. They can also grow in at the wrong angle placing pressure on your existing teeth. Some people's mouths are not big enough to accommodate the teeth which will lead to problems with overcrowding. Sometimes they form cavities due to the location at the back and the difficulty in reaching them to clean and floss thoroughly.

So, They're Coming Out. What Happens Next?

The surgery is usually around 45 minutes long. It may be necessary for your dentist to cut the gum to remove the tooth. If so, you will probably have dissolvable stitches that will last for a few days. Depending on various factors, you may have a local anaesthetic which won't cause any post op drowsiness. Alternatively, you may have an IV or general anaesthetic which will leave you feeling sleepy for a while after. You should find out in advance so that you can adequately prepare for the post surgery period.

What Should You Expect and Do Post Op?

You should tell your dentist about any medicines you're taking before the day of surgery as these may need to be stopped beforehand.

If you have your teeth out using general anaesthesia, you may need to fast for a period before the surgery. Check with your surgeon and stick to the fasting hours you're given as eating can lead to vomiting while under anaesthetic.

You will also need to arrange to have somebody accompany you home following the surgery as you'll still be groggy from the anaesthesia.

Ask your dentist to write a prescription for any medication before the day of surgery. That way, you won't need to visit the chemist after your op and can go straight home.

Take time off to allow for recovery -- it can take up to 24 hours for your anaesthesia to wear off. Get your home ready so that you can recover without having to do anything around the house. Make sure you have stocked up on soft foods as chewing will be painful until your mouth has healed. Also, make sure you have a few cold packs in the freezer to help with the swelling post surgery.


27 May 2016

Unraveling Dental Myths about Children: A Blog for Parents

When I had my first child, I was a nervous wreck. Every book I read gave different advice, and I just wanted to be right! By the time I had my third child, some of the stress had abated. I now realised, there were tons of different perspectives on everything related to raising children including dentistry. To help parents, I have created this blog dedicated to unraveling dental myths about children. I am including posts that weigh both sides of issues such as thumb sucking, dental caries, breastfeeding, flossing and any other topic I can think of. I hope you find the information you need to unravel dental myths, but most importantly, I hope you find some peace of mind. With kids and dentistry, there can be more than one right answer, and I want you to be able to relax and go with the answer that's right for you.