Most people will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted at some point in their life. The wisdom tooth extraction procedure is one of the most complicated types of extraction, so it’s important to take necessary steps to prepare for before and after the surgery. Thorough research can make your recovery much easier.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
Many anthropologists theorize that changes in diet have eliminated the need for wisdom teeth. The invention of utensils, as well as the ability to cook our food, has prevented our teeth from wearing down the way they used to. Anthropologists think that the reason wisdom teeth appear later than the other teeth is that evolution caused them to replace worn down teeth.
Because our teeth remain relatively intact throughout our lives, there is no longer a need for wisdom teeth. In fact, most of our jaws no longer have the capacity to house wisdom teeth and they can cause significant damage to the rest of our teeth.
Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Very few people are born without wisdom teeth and most people do not have large enough jaws to house their wisdom teeth. It can be important to have your wisdom teeth removed to prevent damage to the remaining teeth. Wisdom teeth growth can also undo extensive orthodontic work by rearranging the teeth.
Waiting too long to have your wisdom teeth removed can further complicate the surgery. Impacted wisdom teeth, or wisdom teeth that have grown in at an odd angle, will be more difficult to extract. It will take longer to recover from the surgery. Furthermore, once the wisdom teeth have fully developed their roots, they will be much more difficult to remove.
How to Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Removal
Make sure you clean your teeth thoroughly before going in for your wisdom tooth surgery. You won’t be able to brush for a few days after the surgery, so it is important to remove all the food particles from your teeth. If you don’t have anyone to care for you post-surgery, you’ll want to prepare pre-made food. You likely won’t be able to cook for a while after having your wisdom teeth removed, so it is important to be prepared with alternatives to eat. Wear comfortable clothes to the surgery and consider bringing a blanket with you. You will likely need someone to drive you home after the surgery, depending on the type of anesthetic used.
Recovery after wisdom tooth extraction usually takes about a week. You should not drink out of a straw, spit, or smoke for some time after the surgery. Any of these can dislodge the blood clot over the extraction site, which can cause dry socket.
You should not brush your teeth for several days after having your wisdom teeth removed. Stay hydrated and drink lots of water, but be careful not to swish it around in your mouth. Don’t eat any solid foods for at least 24 hours. Limit any physical activity and don’t rinse your mouth.
For more information about wisdom tooth removal, contact us at Mills River Family Dental today.