Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

Wisdom Teeth Extraction: Answers To 3 Common Questions

by Wyatt Morgan

For many people, wisdom teeth extraction is a common medical procedure that will occur sometime in their life. While this procedure is performed on a daily basis in the United States, it can still be scary for people as it is surgery. Below are answers to the three most common questions you may have regarding wisdom teeth extraction.

Question #1: What Would Happen if They Weren't Removed?

When surgery is first mentioned, one of the first questions a patient may have is what would happen if their wisdom teeth weren't removed. There are a number of reasons that impacted wisdom teeth should be removed and what would happen if they weren't, but the most common includes dental crowding and infection.

Dental crowding occurs when your teeth don't have enough room within your mouth. Impacted wisdom teeth can worsen the issue, as these teeth have usually come in sideways, taking up more space than usual. The continued pressure from said teeth can result in permanent damage to the rest of your teeth, due to lack of space. Another common problem is infection. If even a small part of your wisdom teeth erupt, which means to break through the gums, it can be difficult to keep the area clean. This can result in infection and gum disease.

Question #2: Are Patients Always Put to Sleep for the Procedure?

The anesthesia options offered to you will depend on the expected complexity of the extraction. The three common options include local, sedation, and general. Prior to your procedure, your oral surgeon will let you know which options they offer and the pros and cons of each.

Local anesthesia numbs the gums. This can be used alone, or in conjunction with sedation anesthesia. For some patients, being conscious during the procedure is enough to make them want to skip it altogether. Sedation and general anesthesia are both options for such cases, though not all surgeons will offer them. Sedation anesthesia means you'll be awake for the procedure, but you won't be entirely conscious. This is enough to put many at ease, but some patients may feel more comfortable with general anesthesia.

Question #3: What Does Recovery Look Like?

Recovery is different for everyone, though there are some basic similarities for all patients recovering from wisdom teeth extraction.

Your oral surgeon, like those at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Associates, may prescribe a pain medication for after the surgery. Taking these as directed will offer best results. Bleeding, pain, and swelling are all common during recovery, though each patient's experience will differ. Your surgeon will let you know what to watch for, and when to seek emergency treatment for excessive bleeding or pain.

Strenuous activity should be avoided for about a week, though most normal activities can resume the day after surgery. Your surgeon will instruct you on how to properly clean the wounds, such as rinsing with salt water after eating and every few hours.

While wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure, for many, the idea of dental surgery is still a scary thought. The answers to the above questions may help to ease your fears, but for information and advice related to your specific situation, speak with your oral surgeon.