The removal of wisdom teeth is one of the most common dental surgeries performed in Australia. At Tooth Crusader, we recommend this surgery when your wisdom teeth are causing severe pain which often occurs when they are trying to break through the surface and squeeze in beside all your other teeth. When these third molars are causing you pain, it could be a sign of many different issues. Besides causing a build-up of food and bacteria, impacted wisdom teeth that cause pain could lead to tooth decay, gum disease, pericoronitis, cellulitis, cysts or an abscess.
If you have any pain associated with your teeth or gum, it’s important to visit your dentist and our team at Tooth Crusader can advise on the necessary next steps. If it looks like you’ll need to remove your wisdom teeth, below is an overview of what you can expect.
Before Surgery – How to Prepare Yourself
When you make an appointment at Tooth Crusader, we’ll always perform an oral check-up. If we notice some inflammation or sensitivity around your wisdom, or you mention some pain yourself, we’ll carry out an x-ray of your mouth that will give us a clear view of the positioning of your teeth. Now, if your wisdom teeth are impacted but not causing pain, we may not recommend taking them out, but if they are causing discomfort, surgery will be advised. Before surgery, our team will need to ask a few questions about your well-being to find out if you’re on any drugs or medication and if you have any health problems. It’s also important that you book time off school or work and organise someone to drive you home. We’ll also discuss your anaesthesia options with you (though in some cases, general anaesthesia may be required).
During Surgery – Local or General Anaesthetic?
With everything set up and organised for your surgery, it’s time to apply anaesthetic. If you’ve selected local, we will numb your mouth with a shot of novocaine, lidocaine or mepivicaine. Nitrous oxide (or happy gas as it is also known) will also be available to help you relax or even doze off. If a general anaesthetic is required, you will breathe in gas through a mask until you fall asleep We can offer a twilight sedation option also, where our medical doctor will make sure are comfortable throughout the surgery. You may take a few hours to some time to wake up after general the anaesthetic but with local, you will be alert again shortly afterwards.
The surgery itself generally takes less than an hour; however, we may need to cut into your gums or bone to get the teeth out which may require stitches for the wound to heal. These stitches will dissolve in a few days so you don’t have to worry about returning to have them removed.
Post-Surgery – Will It Hurt?
Everyone reacts differently after wisdom tooth removal surgeries – some may feel alert enough to drive after local anaesthetic and some may even be able to return to work. However, if you’ve woken up with gauze in your mouth, you may need to take it easy until your wounds heal. Post-surgery, most people will have little to no pain, just some swelling and mild discomfort for the first 3 days. With that said, we’ve got a few tips to help you get through those first 72 hours:
- Use an icepack on your cheek to reduce swelling
- If your jaw is sore, try a warm, moist towel
- Do some jaw exercises, slowly and gently opening and closing your mouth
- Eat soft foods like soup or pasta
- Drink plenty of fluids (do NOT drink through a straw)
- Brush your teeth on the second day (do NOT brush blood clots or rinse harshly)
- Take the medication prescribed (if any)
- Call your doctor us if you have a persistent fever, swelling or pain
- Do NOT smoke
When it comes to aching teeth, jaws and gums, our team at Tooth Crusader is ready to lend help. We’ll help ease the pain, improve confidence and get your smile back in no time. Chat to one of our friendly staff today to book a consult and get the best advice from our leading dentists. Call us now on (02) 8097 1838.