If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, this means the tooth never broke through the gum line. This makes these teeth more difficult to remove. If you have never had any wisdom teeth removed before, you may be feeling apprehensive. If so, below is information that should help you feel better.
An impacted wisdom tooth may grow sideways, which will cause the tooth next to the impacted tooth to become crooked. In some cases, the impacted tooth will grow towards the back of your mouth. The impacted tooth may also get stuck in your jawbone. No matter which, an impacted tooth can be very painful.
Food can get trapped behind the impacted tooth, and over time you could develop gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. If the wisdom tooth partially erupts, the tooth could have tooth decay. A cyst may also develop around the tooth. A cyst is a sac that is filled with fluid.
What to Expect
Your dentist will send you to an oral surgeon to have your impacted wisdom tooth removed. This is because you will be put under anesthesia as you would if you were having surgery in a hospital.
When you are sedated, the surgeon will make a small incision on the gum that is covering the wisdom teeth. The surgeon then removes the bone that covers the tooth root. The surgeon may remove the impacted tooth in different sections instead of removing the entire tooth at one time.
When the entire tooth is removed, the surgeon will clean the site to remove leftover tooth bits. The wound will then be stitched closed in some cases, but in others will be left over. Gauze will be placed over the wound to help with bleeding.
What to Expect with Healing
When you get home your tooth site will bleed for a few hours. It is important that you replace the gauze when it becomes saturated with blood. Once the wound stops bleeding, you can start drinking liquids. You need to only eat soft foods for the first couple of days but then can return to normal eating when the wound is closed. Your surgeon can tell you when this is.
One thing you never should do is to drink from a straw or smoke while the wound is still open. If you do this, it can cause dry socket, which is extremely painful.
Your oral surgeon can go over this information with you in much more details.