Impacted Wisdom Teeth: A Guide to Surgical Extraction, After-Care That Supports Fast Healing
Scott and Derry Dental Care work closely with individuals and families from Milton, Ontario. In most cases, we want to preserve the teeth. You can avoid tooth loss with consistent, routine visits to our office for comprehensive oral exams and professional dental cleanings. These recall appointments minimize the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other damage. Usually, maintaining the natural teeth is the preferred way to maintain healthy function and an attractive smile, with one notable exception: impacted wisdom teeth.
Wisdom Teeth 101
Surgical extraction may be necessary. Trust the process with our talented and experienced team, from planning to recovery. We provide guidance on what to expect before and during the procedure. We also provide clear instructions on caring for your mouth following treatment. You also have peace of mind that treatment recommendations are in your best interests, based on highly accurate diagnostics.
We get our patients on a regular schedule of monitoring their developing teeth. That way, we can pinpoint problems with wisdom teeth early–before they produce pain and other debilitating symptoms. These teeth usually do not start to erupt until our patients are in their late teens or early 20s. These last teeth to develop in the smile are often called “wisdom teeth,” as this is the phase of life when children are transitioning into “wise” young adults. Their actual name is the third molars. As vestigial structures, third molars do not serve a function, and not everyone has problems with these teeth. However, complications are common because there may not be sufficient room in the mouth to accommodate them by the time they emerge.
Without enough room to erupt properly, wisdom teeth can grow at an angle. They may become trapped or “impacted” in the jaw. Patients may experience intense pressure, discomfort, swelling, persistent bad breath, and a foul taste in their mouth. Again, with our proactive approach to care, we can precisely and painlessly remove the tooth before you experience any problems with it. We can also resolve patients’ existing pain and symptoms quickly. Our precision surgical techniques and anesthetic support the most comfortable and efficient removal of the affected tooth.
What to Watch For
We support our patients at every step. We provide detailed instructions to speed up and assure healthy healing following your surgery. We also offer peace of mind and are only a phone call away should patients have questions or specific concerns about how their mouth is healing. It is not uncommon to experience or see:
- Occasional bleeding
- Pink- or red-hued saliva
- Slight fever
If these symptoms are severe or persistent, we urge you to contact us immediately. A dry socket is a notable complication from tooth removal. It occurs when the blood clot that forms at the extraction site becomes dislodged. Patients are most at risk of dry socket between the third and fifth day following their surgery. The condition is characterized by throbbing, radiating pain that doesn’t let up.
What to Do
Fortunately, dry sockets can be prevented. Most patients are back to normal again before they know it. Just be sure to follow any instructions provided by our dental team. These instructions help to keep the clot intact and encourage healthy and rapid healing:
- Hold gauze firmly against the surgical site until bleeding has stopped.
- Change gauze and repeat the process until you do not notice any blood.
- After bleeding has stopped, you may drink cold (not carbonated) beverages.
- Do not use straws, and refrain from any other products or behaviours that could dissolve or disrupt the clot.
- Rinse with warm salt water as advised by your dentist.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity or exercise on the day of your procedure.
- Return to regular activities on an “as tolerated” basis.
- Drink plenty of fluids (again, no straws!).
- Initially, you may eat cold and soft foods (think: yogurt, pudding, ice cream).
- Gradually reintroduce firmer foods, and avoid hard or chewy foods like nuts until after your mouth has healed.
We can also advise on ways to manage any discomfort that may be present, as well as ways to keep your mouth clean and healthy as you recover. We look forward to getting your health back on track with routine visits to our office in Milton, Ontario. Call Scott and Derry Dental Care (855) 438-4999 today to schedule your appointment.
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