Wisdom Teeth Removal in Fort Collins CO
Wisdom teeth, sometimes referred to as “third molars”, usually start coming in during a person’s late teens or early twenties. Most adults will get 4 wisdom teeth, and while they do sometimes come in properly, generally wisdom teeth become impacted or come in sideways. Additionally, they can have a negative effect on the rest of your teeth as they crowd the available space on your gum line. As such, it is generally recommended that people have them removed. Delaying the removal of wisdom teeth can result in them becoming so impacted that they fuse with the upper or lower jaw, which then complicates removal. When a tooth fuses with the bone, it is necessary to perform a procedure called bone removal to extract the tooth. Additionally, up to 11% of patients who do not have their wisdom teeth removed will experience cysts and tumors in the area of impact, with the probability of these complications rising as a function of age.
As a general rule, it is best to extract wisdom teeth as soon as it is determined that they have become impacted or before the formation of the root is complete. Removing wisdom teeth later in life can present your oral and maxillofacial surgeon with a more complicated procedure, as increased bone density and the potential for jaw line bone loss or systemic diseases of the mouth or jaw may limit his or her options.
Extracting Wisdom Teeth
Before your oral and maxillofacial surgeon begins the extraction of your wisdom teeth, you will probably be given a local anesthetic (or in some cases a general anesthetic) to dull the pain. Aric Murphy, DDS M.D. generally recommends that you not eat or drink after midnight on the day before your surgery, as doing so in combination with the anesthetic can cause people to become nauseous. Once you are “under”, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon will remove the wisdom teeth. In some cases this may require your surgeon to break the tooth into multiple pieces. After the teeth have been removed, stitches may be required, and a folded piece of gauze will be placed over the extraction point to help stop the bleeding.
After Your Wisdom Teeth Have Been Removed
The period of recovery after wisdom teeth removal usually only lasts a few days. You will be prescribed painkillers to help mitigate the pain. Immediately after the removal procedure, you will be instructed to bite down very gently on the gauze pad, and to change the pads out periodically as they become saturated in blood. Your mouth will still be numb, so be careful not to bite on your tongue or inner cheek. Be sure to take some time to get comfortable and relax, as increasing your heart rate may increase the bleeding. Rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water a few times a day after surgery will help reduce the amount of pain and prevent infection. You should eat mostly soft foods for the first few days after your procedure too, and avoid sucking on a straw or smoking on the day after your surgery. This can loosen blood clots causing additional bleeding, and can contaminate the wound.
For more information about wisdom teeth removal, please call Murphy OMS today at: (970) 420-6848