Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Painful?
The thought of having wisdom teeth removed can strike the fear of God into some of us. Let’s face it, very few, if any, of us look forward to a dentist trip, and the prognosis of extraction can be a daunting one. But how worried should we be? Is wisdom tooth extraction painful, or like a walk in Commonwealth Park?
Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to appear in the mouth and our third set of molars. They tend to arrive well after all of the others between the ages of 17 and 25, pretty late to be teething. However, in theory, they should arrive, or erupt as dentists call it, without causing any major problems.
Unfortunately, not all wisdom teeth are problem-free. Many of us develop what is known as impacted wisdom teeth. This happens when the new teeth don’t have enough room to grow normally, restricting their growth. When the wisdom tooth tries to push its way out, it can end up growing at an angle or can get trapped within the jawbone.
Impacted wisdom teeth can end up being problematic. You’re likely to need your tooth to be removed if you encounter:
- Trapped food behind the tooth
- Infection or gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Damage to nearby teeth and bones
- Development of a cyst
While not all impacted wisdom teeth directly cause problems, dentists sometimes recommend removing them to prevent future problems occurring. Impacted teeth can be difficult to clean and can harbour disease.
How to Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Removal
Preparing yourself for wisdom tooth removal can go a long way to making the procedure as pain-free as possible. Your dentist should sit with you and explain the reasons for the extraction, the procedure that will take place and anything that you need to be aware of. Ensuring you understand what is going to happen will put your mind at ease. Make sure you find out about the type of anaesthesia, the length of the procedure and any related work that is needed. If you’ve got a good dentist, you shouldn’t be left with any questions.
Wisdom tooth extractions are most commonly performed as outpatient procedures, meaning you can go home the very same day. Your dentist will give you a list of instructions of what to do on the day of the surgery including times, travel arrangements and food and drink to be avoided.
What to Expect from the Procedure
Wisdom tooth extraction surgery in Canberra should take around 45 minutes or less. Your dentist will give you anaesthesia to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the removal. The type of anaesthesia will depend on the expected complexity of the extraction and your comfort level. With support and advice from your dentist, your options will include:
- Local anaesthesia to numb the site of extraction
- Sedation anaesthesia to suppress your consciousness during the procedure
- General anaesthesia to put you to sleep during the procedure
Whatever the anaesthesia, the procedure will be much the same. The dentist will make an incision in the gum, remove the bone blocking access to the tooth and extract the tooth. Afterwards, the site is cleaned, and stitches are administered, if necessary. It honestly sounds worse than it is, with the right preparation and pain control, you shouldn’t feel a thing.
What Happens After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Depending on the type of anaesthesia, you will need an amount of time in a recovery room. This ensures that the anaesthesia can wear off and that you are fit to go home. Once you’re home, you’ll want to take it easy, and you won’t want to overdo it for a few days after either.
You may experience some mild pain and discomfort after the procedure, but it should be easy to manage. Over-the-counter pain relief should be enough to ward off any niggles and, if there is some swelling and bruising, an ice pack can do wonders.
Other than that, you just need to make sure you eat a soft diet for the first 24 hours and then build your diet back up again gradually. And, of course, don’t forget to brush your teeth after the first day, but go gentle at the back.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Dentist
Wisdom tooth removal in Canberra shouldn’t be painful, but it makes all the difference if you choose the right dentist. Having a dentist that you know and trust can help put you at ease and significantly influence your comfort level. A good dentist will talk you through what’s happening, ensure your comfortable the whole way through and even hold your hand if you need them to. Find yourself a caring family-run dental practice, and the pain and fear of the dentist will become a thing of the past – along with your toothache.
If you have a wisdom tooth problem and would like to book a free consultation with our dentist, simply call our practice today on (02) 6281 2222 to schedule your appointment.