Any dental procedure can feel scary and confusing, but the goal of Spokane oral surgeons Dr. David Gailey is to make sure that you understand everything about your upcoming wisdom tooth extraction so you aren’t left in the dark. Find out more about the surgery and what you can expect.
Q. Why do my wisdom teeth need to come out?
A. These third and final set of molars usually come in around your late teens or early twenties. They are recommended to be removed around this time. While these teeth don’t always have to cause issues, they often do. They can come in crooked, they may become stuck (impacted) in the jaw, they can erupt through the gums only partially (which can leave gums prone to an infection) or they can cause overcrowding for your smile. If this is the case your dentist will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Q. Will I be asleep during the procedure?
A. There are different forms of anesthesia that your oral surgeon will choose from depending on the complexity of your extraction and how anxious you may be about your upcoming procedure. The most common types of anesthesia include:
- Local anesthesia: administering a local injection to numb the area prior to treatment. The patient is completely conscious but won’t feel pain.
- Light sedation: Sometimes referred to as conscious sedation, this IV anesthesia will go into your arm and reduce consciousness during your treatment so you won’t experience pain or discomfort. You will also receive a local anesthesia before your procedure.
- General anesthesia: This is usually only recommended for those with special or serious cases. You will be completely asleep and unaware of what is going on around you. Your breathing and heart rate will be continuously monitored while under general anesthesia.
Q. What is the procedure like?
A. Once you are under sedation we will open up the gums to expose the wisdom teeth. We may need to cut each tooth into several pieces to make removing it easier. Once all of your wisdom teeth are removed we will stitch the gums back up. Some procedures only take a few minutes while others can take up to an hour. This will depend on whether your wisdom teeth have fully erupted or are impacted.
Q. What will the recovery process be like?
A. Everyone’s healing process is different. We will give you instructions on what you should and shouldn’t do after your surgery. We will also tell you whether you have dissolvable stitches or whether you will need to come back in to have them removed. You will also be given strict dietary restrictions for about the first week after your procedure.