Wisdom Teeth (Impacted third molar)
The Impacted Wisdom Tooth
An impacted tooth is a tooth that has not fully come into the mouth. Being the last teeth to erupt, the third molars, or wisdom teeth are frequently impacted. Statistically, it is said that 95% of the wisdom teeth that will erupt do so before the age of 24.
Due to their location, wisdom teeth are rarely used for chewing. Furthermore, they cannot be functional if they are either partially erupted or completely impacted. It is estimated that only 5% of the population have enough space to accommodate healthy and functional third molar.
To evaluate wisdom teeth, the dentist must examine the patient clinically. The patient’s medical status will be considered, and the x-rays will be examined for the relationship between the wisdom tooth and the adjacent teeth as well as the adjacent anatomical structures such as the maxillary sinus, and the mandibular nerve. It is also best not to wait for impacted teeth to cause problems before extracting them as the risk of complications will increase.
Although we strive to make the procedure as comfortable as possible, the removal of a wisdom tooth is still a surgical procedure. For the first 5 days following surgery, the patient may experience swelling both inside the mouth and of the face. It is very important to follow the postoperative instructions closely, especially the diet and oral hygiene ones to reduce the risks of complications following surgery.
Please read and follow these postoperative instructions:
- Bite down on the cotton gauze for 45 minutes and change it every 20 minutes until the bleeding has subsided.
- If there is still bleeding, after 45 minutes, replace the cotton gauze with a wet tea bag and bite down for 30 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped.
- Do not rinse your mouth for 24 hours as this will cause the blood clot to dislodge. You may drink either warm or cold liquids but do not use a straw.
- Prepare a mouthrinse solution add 2 teaspoons of salt to 1 liter of water.
Starting 24 hours after the surgery commence rinsing several times a day for a period of 3 weeks.
- Swelling may occur in the first 72 hours. Apply ice on the swollen area intermittently (15-20 minute/hour) for the first 2 days following surgery. After 48 hours, you can apply warm compresses. This will help decrease the swelling.
- Skin discoloration may occur but it will return to normal within a week.
- Take your medication as prescribed
- Limit yourself to a liquid diet : for the first 48 hours (Boost, Ensure, warm soup, pudding, yogurt), and then keep to a soft diet for the next 4 – 5 days.
Even on the day of your surgery, it is important to brush your teeth. The surgical site, however, must be avoided for the first week. Start brushing it on the 8th day.
- Smoking : To reduce the risk of infection avoid smoking or drinking alcohol for the first 2 weeks.
- The stitches will dissolve on their own in between a week and 10 days.
- From the 5th day on, until the holes are closed, use the plastic syringe that was given to you and carefully rinse the holes once a day. If you were given a prescription for Peridex, only start using it on the 3rd day. Rinse with it 1-2 times a day for 3 weeks.
- Do not blow your nose for the first 2 weeks if you had either a maxillary tooth extracted or if you had an apicoectomy of a maxillary tooth.
- Important : Any infection should be taken seriously and be reported immediately to your surgeon. Signs of infection can include fever, swelling that reappears (warm cheek, red and hard to the touch), pain, a bad taste in the mouth, and the presence of pus.
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