Wisdom teeth removal may not be something you anticipate, but with the right preparation, you can embrace the procedure and promote long-term dental health. Since having wisdom teeth removed requires more intensive surgery than other dental procedures, it’s important to learn what to expect and how to plan for recovery. As a trusted dentist in Waipahu, HI, Jason H. Ikeno, DDS, highlights some of the most critical aspects patients should know about wisdom teeth extraction.
5 Factors to Know About Seeing a Dentist for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
1. Not Everyone Needs Wisdom Teeth Removal
Although wisdom teeth removal is a common requirement for most patients, not every person may need extraction. Some people, for example, never develop wisdom teeth or may not have a complete set. Others may have ample room in their mouths to allow for this final set of molars to come in without complication. The only way to know if you require the procedure is to see your dentist regularly for X-rays.
2. Avoiding Extraction Can Have Big Consequences
If you put off your extraction, your wisdom teeth may eventually become impacted, which can lead to severe pain and infection. These molars may also cause significant cosmetic dentistry issues by forcing other teeth to shift and overlap.
3. Removal Requires Anesthesia
Since wisdom teeth removal requires several surgical incisions, general anesthesia is necessary to keep the patient from experiencing pain during the procedure. Since this type of sedation can leave you feeling disoriented after the surgery, it’s important to have a trusted friend or family member at the office to drive you home.
4. Healing Takes Time
You should plan to take at least a few days off from your responsibilities to allow your mouth to heal after wisdom teeth extraction. Resting will help you avoid injury and promote healing. Plus, you’ll likely use pain medication that can make you feel groggy. As your mouth heals, it’s important to follow all care instructions as provided by your dentist. These tips will help prevent you from dislodging the blood clot at the removal site and causing a dry socket — a painful condition that requires more extensive healing.
5. Rinsing Has Many Benefits
Typically, dentists approve rinsing with warm salt water about a day after the procedure. Make sure to lightly rinse frequently throughout the day — especially after eating — as it can help prevent food particles and bacteria from building up in your mouth. In addition to boosting oral hygiene, this rinse helps speed healing, reduce pain, and decrease swelling.
If you’re an adult or have an older teenager who hasn’t undergone wisdom teeth removal, talk with your family dentistry provider about extraction needs. Providing comprehensive dental care in Waipahu, HI, Jason H. Ikeno, DDS, is one dentist that offers comfortable, compassionate, and convenient dental extraction on Oahu. To learn more about Dr. Ikeno’s approach to advanced care or schedule an appointment, call the office at (808) 676-1520 or visit them online.