The Complete Wisdom Tooth Removal Guide

A side profile of what it looks like when a Wisdom tooth is impacting the tooth next to it, necessitating a wisdom tooth extraction

Were you aware that the average adult has 32 teeth? Four of these are wisdom teeth, a term you’ve probably heard many times before, especially in your late teens.

Wisdom teeth (or third molars) often appear by the time you are 17 to 21 years of age. Not everyone gets wisdom teeth. In fact, if wisdom teeth don’t run in your family, you might be one of the lucky ones who don’t have to worry about them.

However, if you are a part of roughly 53.9 percent of people who have one or more wisdom teeth, you may want to talk to your dentist about an extraction.

In this guide, you can expect answers to all of your questions, including:

  • What is the best way to get ready for my extraction?
  • What must I do after my wisdom teeth are out?
  • How does wisdom teeth removal work?
  • And more!

We hope this will help ease your worries about getting your wisdom teeth out and help you know just when to contact your dentist.

The Complete Wisdom Teeth Removal Guide

The average wisdom teeth removal age is 18 to 24. If you decide to do the removal procedure, you can overcome many of the common problems associated with having wisdom teeth, which include pain in the mouth, cysts, periodontal disease, cavities, and infection.

Below is some information to give you a better idea of what to expect during the wisdom teeth removal process:

How to Prepare for Your Extraction

If you’re getting ready to say goodbye to your wisdom teeth, there are many ways you can prepare. For instance, it is important to steer clear of foods and beverages once midnight hits on the day of your surgery.

That means that if your extraction is scheduled for 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, you’ll want to avoid drinking or eating anything after 12 a.m. on Tuesday. The reason that it is important is that going into oral surgery with food in your stomach can lead to complications.

You will also want to write out a list of medications to provide to your oral surgeon upon arrival. That way, we can give you the correct anesthesia and help you avoid certain wisdom teeth removal side effects.

Another way to prepare for your wisdom teeth extraction is to prepare your bedroom so that you can come home to a cozy space after your surgery. Wisdom tooth extraction recovery can take a couple of days, so you’ll want to create a relaxing environment for yourself before your surgery so that you are most comfortable in the days after.

You may also want to purchase or meal prep some soft foods. That will make it easier to find something to eat when you’re hungry, and you’re experiencing any wisdom teeth removal pain. Some of the best foods for your post-care include soup, eggs, yogurt, chicken or beef broth, mashed potatoes, and fruit and veggie smoothies. If you buy them or make them before your appointment, they’ll be easier to grab and go, and ensure you get something in your stomach when you’re not up to cooking.

Also, one more thing: when it comes time for your appointment, you’ll want to dress comfortably, and ask someone to come with you. You will be medicated or drowsy and unsafe to drive after your appointment, so having someone to take you home is required.

What happens during the wisdom teeth removal procedure?

A wisdom teeth extraction is a form of surgery where your dentist will extract your wisdom teeth. The dentist/oral surgeon will begin by numbing the area, sedating you, and/or setting you up with laughing gas, depending on your preferences.

Once the area is numb, and/or you are asleep, the dentist will cut the tissue of your gum to show the wisdom teeth and surrounding bone. Next, they may take off any bone that restricts their ability to get to the root.

Then, they’ll extract the tooth, clean the area out, and stitch it up if needed to ensure that it heals properly. They may also add clean gauze on top of the area to stop the bleeding. You are unlikely to feel pain during the removal. However, you may have some pain after the removal, which is normal.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Post-Care

To help with the pain and healing process, as well as minimize complications, here are some suggestions for after your appointment:

  • Throw away your gauze pad 30 minutes or so after your appointment.
  • Ease your discomfort with an ice pack.
  • Use the pain medications prescribed by your dentist.
  • Don’t brush your teeth for 24 to 72 hours after the removal.
  • Swish lukewarm salt water in your mouth after each meal.
  • Rest up! You deserve it.

When to Contact Your Dentist

It is vital to reach out to your dentist right away if you have trouble breathing or swallowing after your appointment. Also, alert your dentist if you have a temperature of 101+ degrees, if your pain medication doesn’t seem to be working, or if the inflammation isn’t improving once a couple of days have gone by.

Your dentist may ask about whether you’ve noticed any odd tastes in your mouth, whether the wisdom teeth removal area feels numb, or if you have been bleeding more than normal. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your dentist may ask you to come in so that they can check for an infection or other post-surgery issues.

Schedule your appointment.

Removing your wisdom teeth can reduce the chance of your teeth crowding together and help you avoid a long list of dental problems, from gum disease to tooth decay. If you have between one to four wisdom teeth, the time to schedule your extraction is now.

At Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, you will feel nothing but at ease from the beginning of your appointment. Our staff is dedicated to making every dental experience as stress-free as possible from the moment you walk in.

Are you ready to book your wisdom teeth removal? Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry would love to see you. Schedule your appointment with Dr. López today.