The wisdom tooth (or third molar) removal is one of the common oral surgical procedure. It is usually the last tooth to erupt in the mouth anytime after 16 years of age. Frequently there is not enough room to accommodate wisdom teeth and as such they do not come into the mouth normally. When this happens, the wisdom teeth are said to be “impacted”. Wisdom teeth are usually either impacted forwards into the tooth in front or backwards into the jaw bone.
An impacted wisdom tooth is usually removed if they cause problems. This commonly includes:
Since the wisdom tooth has not fully erupted into the mouth it is often necessary to make a cut in the gum over the tooth. Sometimes it may be necessary to remove some bone surrounding the crown of the wisdom tooth. Rarely the tooth needs to be cut into pieces to remove it. Once the wisdom tooth has been removed the gum is put back into place with stitches. These stitches usually dissolve in around two weeks.
It depends on difficulty and patients choice.
This is a variable, depending on the difficulty and number. Some wisdom tooth may take only a few minutes to remove. More difficult ones that need to be cut into pieces can take around 20 -40 minutes to remove.
It is likely that there will be some discomfort and swelling both on the inside and outside of your mouth. There may be some bruising of the skin of your face.This is usually worse for the first couple of days, but it may take up to two weeks for complete recovery. You may also find that your jaw is stiff and you may need to eat a soft diet for a week or so. Regular pain killers and anti-inflammatory will be helpful for the first few days. It may also be necessary to have a course of antibiotics after the extraction.
It is important to keep the extraction sites as clean as possible during the healing period. It may be difficult to brush your teeth around the sites of the extraction as it may be sore. It may therefore be useful to gently rinse with a mouthwash or warm salt water (dissolve a flat teaspoon of kitchen salt in a cup of warm water). This should be commenced after 24 hrs.
It may vary from few days to a week depending on how you recover and also the type of anaesthetic used. You should also avoid strenuous exercise during this time. Depending on the type of anaesthetic used you will not be able to drive (24 hours after intravenous sedation and for 48 hours after a general anaesthetic)