Sometimes, wisdom teeth removal can be scary and the anticipation is worse than the surgical procedure itself. As a result, children and adults alike often feel nervous when faced with the need to remove their wisdom teeth. However, modern technology and the many years of perfecting the extraction procedure have improved and made it a commonplace process that takes a short time with minimal discomfort. Moreover, the recovery tends to be easy and quick when you are consistent with the rest plan and pain management.
Our dental team at North Shore Smile Surgery is here to assure you that there is nothing much to be nervous about when it comes to wisdom teeth removal. This article also addresses some common questions that make patients anxious and afraid of the extraction process.
What's the Best Age for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
There isn't a set rule stating when to get your wisdom teeth removed. You can get your wisdom teeth extracted at any age if it is causing problems. But typically, the preferred age bracket is between 18 and early 20s. Some dental specialists even recommend removing them earlier, depending on an individual's mouth structure.
After 24 years, the wisdom teeth are fully formed, and the roots are too developed, making removal more complex. At this age or below, you are still young enough for a quick and smooth recovery and at limited risks for complications during or after the surgery. The extraction process may be more complicated for adults, and your recovery could be slower with an increased risk of complications.
Therefore, consult your dentist for the best recommendations depending on personal factors.
Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Painful?
Wisdom teeth removal is sometimes necessary, but few people often look forward to the procedure. Many patients get nervous just thinking about it, so you are not alone if you are anxious and afraid.
However, patients don't realize how pain-free and safe the removal process is in the right hands. With a skilled and experienced oral surgeon like Dr. Scott Frank performing the surgery and proper anesthesia, the wisdom teeth removal will be quick, efficient, and painless. Moreover, since most people opt to be sedated during the surgery, the pain might only be felt during the healing phase and not during the procedure.
Sedation Options for wisdom teeth Extraction
The thought of having your tooth removed can bring fear and anxiety. This is why qualified oral surgeons often recommend various sedation options for patients undergoing the procedure. Most of these sedation medications have amnesic properties, which help the patients forget how the surgery happened.
Our team will offer multiple sedation options for safe and painless wisdom teeth removal, such as local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide), IV sedation, or oral sedation.
- Local Anesthesia: This is most likely the only sedation option you'll need. It is numbing anesthesia that prevents the transmission of pain from the nerve to the central nervous system. Local anesthesia usually lasts between thirty minutes to four hours, depending on the dosage and the strength of the sedation.
- IV Sedation: This is the intravenous sedation injected straight into your bloodstream. It puts you in a sleepy state during the procedure, and it records the highest success rate among dentistry sedation options.
- Oral sedation: This ranges between minimal to moderate sedation options. You take a prescribed pill an hour before your appointment, making you feel very drowsy but still awake. Many patients prefer this option since it's easy to administer and wears off quickly.
- Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas): This is administered through your nose via a mask which allows you to inhale nitrous oxide combined with oxygen. It's best for nervous patients since it helps you relax and wears off quickly. Patients of all ages can use this anesthesia.
Minimal sedation options are best for patients who can tolerate the dental procedure well. Generally, knowing that your oral surgeon will keep you sedated and numb during the surgery can help reduce the fear and anxiety.
How Long is the Removal Process?
Wisdom teeth extraction usually takes 45 minutes or less, depending on the condition of your teeth. The extraction process of a wisdom tooth can be as simple as for any other tooth. But sometimes, it may need to be handled in sections to avoid messing up the bone tissue.
You'll receive either local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the surgery and how nervous you are.
What next After Extraction?
Everyone reacts differently to the procedure, but most people experience little to no pain after the wisdom teeth removal. The effects of anesthesia might require you to rest for a couple of minutes after the surgery before going home or have someone drive you back.
You are likely to have mild discomfort, including swelling, for about three days, and it might take a few weeks for your mouth to completely heal. However, the recovery time can be longer if you develop infections. Therefore, be mindful and communicate with your doctor for actionable tips to avoid infection and make the healing process easy and fast.
During recovery, avoid:
- Rinsing your mouth too harshly
- Drinking through a straw
- Drinking hot liquids
- Eating crunchy, hard, or sticky foods
Pain Relief Tips After Extraction
Most patients manage wisdom tooth extraction pain safely and quickly through prescribed and over-the-counter medications. However, it's best to ask your doctor if any pain relief medication you intend to use is safe for your condition.
In addition, here are a few tips for faster pain management:
- Stick to soft foods to prevent irritation and keep pain to a minimum
- Stay consistent with the pain relief medications prescribed
- Apply ice packs on your face to reduce swelling or changes to the skin color.
- Exercise your jaw by opening and closing your mouth gently
- Drink a lot of fluids
- If the dental pain is severe, reach out to your doctor immediately
No Need to be Nervous about your Wisdom Teeth Removal
The process of removing your wisdom teeth does not need to be a terrifying and frightful experience. With a professional dental team and various anesthesia and sedation options available nowadays, you can have a safe, easy, and pain-free dental experience at your surgeon's office.
Talk to the North Shore Smile Surgery team today if you are in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and need to get your wisdom teeth extracted safely! Contact us for a consultation about wisdom teeth or any other oral healthcare need!