Everyone has baby teeth that are gradually replaced by the time you are eighteen. However, that’s not the end of the story. By the time you are twenty-one you should have all your permanent teeth, the exact number can vary depending on whether you have two sets of molars or three. If you have three sets of molars then you will probably have 32 teeth. The third set appears between 18 and 21 and are referred to as wisdom teeth.
It should be noted they have nothing to do with how wise you are, the name is linked to the fact you are an adult and becoming wiser.
For some people, wisdom teeth are not an issue. They appear and simply need looking after in the same way that all other teeth do.
But, for some, they grow at an angle, fail to break the surface properly, or there simply isn’t enough room in your mouth for them. That’s when you need to see a reputable specialist, such as this dentist St Leonards.
They will inspect your mouth and help you decide the best solution, this is often the removal of the teeth.
The Removal Process
The good news is that your dentist can remove your wisdom teeth for you, it’s not usual to go to the hospital. You will be offered one of the following anaesthetics:
The local anaesthetic is a quick injection in your mouth near the wisdom teeth. It numbs the immediate area allowing the dentist to remove the wisdom teeth without you feeling any pain. This approach is generally used when your wisdom teeth have broken the surface.
An IV is a line that goes straight into your arm and will briefly send you to sleep. This will be combined with a local to allow the removal of teeth that haven’t broken the surface.
You will feel drowsy when you come too, meaning that you’ll need a lift home!
The general anaesthetic is the best choice if you need more than two wisdom teeth removed. It effectively makes you unconscious for the procedure. You’ll also have a local leaving your mouth feeling numb. Again, you’ll need to be driven home.
Your dentist will extract the wisdom teeth, your mouth will feel strange as well as numb. Most importantly, you need to follow their care advice.
The dentist will ensure a blood clot has formed where the tooth was extracted. However, you need to make sure this isn’t dislodged. That means replacing the gauze pad when you get home and, if the extraction is bleeding, bite down for thirty seconds to stop the bleeding.
It will also be important to keep your head elevated and to ice the area around the extraction regularly. This reduces swelling and associated pressure.
It is best to rest for 24-48 hours and drink plenty of water. You should also stick to soft foods. Alongside this, wait until at least 24 hours have passed before you brush to avoid dislodging the clot.
Full recovery and return to normal usually take 3-4 days but it can take as long as 2 weeks, you’ll need to be patient.