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What to Know Before Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
When the first wisdom tooth starts to come in, it may be tempting to simply ignore its presence. However, even if they do not initially seem to be causing much trouble, the eruption of these final molars can end up contributing to issues such as overcrowding, limitations in jaw mobility, oral swelling and intense pain when chewing. When faced with these issues, a person should prepare to have these teeth extracted as soon as possible.
Questions about wisdom tooth extraction
Knowing the answers to common questions about the extraction process can ease understandable nerves.
Is now a good time to have wisdom teeth removed?
The right time to get these teeth extracted may not be the same for everyone. Having a wisdom tooth come in is not necessarily the best time to get an extraction. In fact, there are fewest complications involved if the tooth is pulled before the roots have become 66% developed. These roots take form during the teenage years. For this reason, many teenagers elect to go through with voluntary removal of wisdom teeth while the roots are still only partially formed.
The older a person gets, the more risk there is with extraction. The root becomes firmer. Teeth begin to reposition themselves to accommodate the new additions, leading to the possible risk of other nerves in the area being damaged. Recovery time also lengthens the older a person is. Therefore, it is generally suggested to voluntarily get wisdom teeth removed before hitting one’s 20s.
What is the difference between anesthesia and laughing gas?
One thing that must be thought about carefully is whether to opt for anesthesia or laughing gas for wisdom tooth removal. In either case, local anesthesia will also be applied to numb the area so the patient does not feel pain.
With anesthesia, the patient is unconscious for the procedure. This is a good option for those whose surgeries may be more intensive or people who do not handle blood or oral surgery well. However, the preparation is more intensive and requires a six-hour fast ahead of time and antibiotics before the appointment.
Laughing gas, on the other hand, allows the patient to stay conscious. It relieves anxiety and tension, but the patient is able to feel vibration, movement and pressure.
What should the patient expect from the healing process?
Regardless of what route is taken to remove a wisdom tooth, the healing process can take a while. Patients should take at least one day off of work or school, possibly more. Exercise should be limited. If possible, it may be best for the patient to spend some time resting in bed.
Prepare for pain, swelling and bleeding by having plenty of painkillers and cotton pads on hand. Clean the mouth regularly and only eat food approved by the surgeon. Follow directions carefully and healing will go more smoothly.
Preparing for a wisdom tooth extraction can seem like a scary process. However, knowing what to expect is half of the battle. Understand what the options are for anesthesia, as well as what needs to be done to ensure fast healing. Finally, follow the surgeon’s directions to avoid complications during or after the procedure.
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