What is Oral Surgery?
Oral Surgery has a wide scope and it includes simple tooth extraction, minor surgical extractions such a extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth and surgical biopsies.
What are the main reasons for taking wisdom teeth out?
Far fewer wisdom teeth are now taken out than in the past. If the tooth is not causing problems, your dentist will not want to remove it. They will only remove wisdom teeth: • when it is clear that they will not be able to come through into a useful position because there is not enough room, and they are also causing some pain or discomfort • if they have only partly come through and are decayed – such teeth will often decay as it will be difficult to clean them as thoroughly as your other teeth • if they are painful.
Are wisdom teeth difficult to take out?
It all depends on the position and the shape of the roots. Your dentist will tell you how easy or difficult each tooth will be to remove after looking at the x-rays. Upper wisdom teeth are often easier to remove than lower ones, which are more likely to be impacted. Your dentist will say whether the tooth should be taken out at the dental practice, or whether you should be referred to a specialist (oral surgeon) at a hospital. Very occasionally there is a possibility of some numbness of the lip after the removal of a lower tooth – your dentist will tell you if it is possible in your case.
Either local anaesthetic – as you would have for a filling – or sedation will probably be recommended. A general anaesthetic (where you would be asleep), can also be used, but this will only be given in a hospital.
What should I expect after a wisdom tooth is taken out?
The amount of discomfort will depend on how easy the removal of the tooth was. There is usually some swelling and discomfort for a few days afterwards, and it is important to follow any advice you get about mouthwashes etc, to help with the healing. Some people also find homeopathic remedies help to reduce discomfort. Usual pain-killers such as paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen will usually deal with any pain. It is best to stay fairly quiet and relaxed and avoid smoking and drinking for 24 hours afterwards to make sue there are no bleeding problems. There may be some stitches to help the gum heal over – your dentist will probably want to see you again about a week later to check on the healing, and to remove any stitches.
The above information has been provided under licence by the British Dental Health Foundation and is copyrighted.