Wisdom Teeth are the last erupting teeth in the Oral cavity and they are named because they erupt during years of 18-20 years which is when we are expected to attain wisdom. I have been asked many times this question about Wisdom teeth – When to have my Wisdom Teeth removed? and the next question is What are the Wisdom Teeth Removal problems?. The Answers to these questions is not straightforward or simple and needs to explain separately in an elaborate way to make you understand, What are the situations in which Wisdom teeth are removed and will there be any Post Surgical complications.
As you here having doubts about Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery, let me list out the most common Doubts or Questions which I have been asked by my patients about Wisdom tooth removal Surgery both before the surgery and after the surgery. This might help you get an idea about how to prepare yourself for Wisdom tooth removal surgery.
When should I get my Wisdom Teeth Removed?
There are three circumstances when you must or can get your Wisdom tooth Extracted.
- Get all 4 Wisdom Teeth extracted before they erupt, this is done at the age of 15-18 when the teeth are developing and can be extracted if the positioning of the unerupted Wisdom teeth is such that they will either be impacted or erupt in a way which might cause a problem in the future. This is diagnosed by taking an OPG or a CBCT depending on the requirement to decide on the treatment plan.
- In case of Pericoronitis, this is one condition where the soft tissue or the gingiva is covering the occlusal surface of the erupted Wisdom tooth which is inflamed. This happens when the soft tissue comes in between the upper and lower third molars and leads to Pericoronitis and the solution is to extract the tooth.
- Impacted Third Molars – This is the most common cause of wisdom tooth extraction where the teeth are Impacted in – Mesioangular, Horizontal, Vertical or Distal. Types of Maxillary Impactions
- Decay in Wisdom Teeth – Wisdom Teeth due to their peculiar eruption positions are one of the most commonly affected teeth by Dental Caries and in most cases it is difficult to treat and in such cases, it is advised to Extract the Wisdom teeth to prevent any future infections which might affect the adjacent Second molars.
How long does a Wisdom tooth Extraction take to heal?
Healing after a Wisdom tooth Extraction depends on the type of Extraction performed.
Simple Extraction: the healing in a Simple extraction is mostly completed in 7-10 days for the soft tissue to heal. It takes around 10-14 days for the complete discomfort or soreness to go away.
Surgical Extraction: In this scenario, there is usually Bone trimming and also Flap is raised, for the soft tissue to heal it takes around the same time of 7 days after which the Sutures are removed. The Wound to heal takes anywhere from 3 weeks to a months time. The symptoms on the face like swelling comes down usually after 5-7 days by taking medication.
How long will there be pain after Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
The healing period after a Wisdom tooth Extraction or Surgery is usually 3 days to 5 days depending on the type of Extraction performed and if there was any Bone trimming done in case of teeth which are submerged underbone.
On taking medication – Painkillers most people do not experience any Pain, but there will be some discomfort for 3-5 days which is negligible, in some patients there will be pain on opening or closing of the mouth which can be due to sutures and in case of surgery. It takes a Weeks time to heal completely and it is best to follow the instructions given the Dentist without fail.
What is Wisdom Tooth Removal Infection?
In some cases there can be an infection of the Extraction site after Wisdom tooth removal, this can be due to many reasons and in most cases it needs attention. It can be due to impacted food in the extraction socket or due to smoking etc. In rare cases, the Infection of Extraction Site leads to a Dry Socket which is a very painful condition which needs to be addressed immediately.
If you follow the Post Extraction instructions given by Dentist then there will be nothing to worry about. Some of the most important points are – do not Rinse for 24 hours, No smoking for a few days, do not drink with a Straw, do not ear hard food items etc.
When can I smoke After Wisdom Tooth Removal?
It is important to wait a minimum of 72 hours or 3 days before starting to Smoke a Cigarette after Wisdom Tooth Extraction. There are two reasons for it – The Sucking action dislodges the Blood clot from the Socket and the other reason is – Due to the heat the healing in the extraction site slows down and leads to a painful condition called Dry Socket or Alveolar Osteitis.
When can I start Eating normally After Wisdom Tooth Removal?
There is no restriction on the time from which you can start eating, but it is important to keep in mind that you do not eat any Hot, Hard, Crunchy food and stick to Soft and easily digestible foods for a couple of days.
Make sure you drink lots of fluids and take the drugs prescribed by your Dentist, even while eating make sure that you do not open or close your mouth too much and rapidly but do it slowly.
From when can I start brushing my Teeth after Wisdom Tooth Surgery?
It is important to wait for a day (start brushing from the second day) before you start brushing, as brushing near the extraction site can lead to dislodgement of the Blood Clot. You can clean your mouth by gently rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash or Salt mixed in Water.
How long will the Anesthesia last after Wisdom Tooth Removal?
The duration of the Local Anesthetic effect is usually 2-3 hours but it can be lower depending on the patient. In some patients, the Effect of Local Anesthesia is lost after just 1 hour and in some, it might be effective for 3 hours.
It is important to note that, you do not operate any heavy machinery or drive after an Extraction as you might be a bit drowsy. In some patients where General Anesthesia or Nitrous Oxide gas (Conscious Sedation) has been used it takes longer time for the effect to wear off and it is important to have someone accompany you and take ample rest for the rest of the day.