Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically develop in the late teens or early twenties. While some people have no issues with their wisdom teeth, others may experience pain, infection, or other dental problems. In such cases, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary. If you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, it is important to understand the wisdom teeth removal process by our Columbia, SC dentist.

Consultation and Examination

The wisdom teeth removal process typically begins with a consultation and examination by a dental professional. During this appointment, the dentist will evaluate your oral health, take X-rays to determine the position of your wisdom teeth, and discuss your options for treatment.

If you have an infection or inflammation in the gums or surrounding teeth, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or recommend that you wait until the infection has cleared up before having your wisdom teeth removed. In some cases, the dentist may also recommend that you have all four wisdom teeth removed at once, even if only one or two are causing problems.

Preparation for the Procedure

Once you and your dentist have decided to proceed with wisdom teeth removal, you will need to prepare for the procedure. This may involve abstaining from eating or drinking for several hours prior to the appointment, and arranging for a friend or family member to drive you home after the procedure.

The dentist may also provide instructions on how to care for your mouth before and after the procedure, such as using a special mouthwash or avoiding certain foods.

Anesthesia or Sedation

Before the wisdom teeth removal procedure begins, the dentist will administer anesthesia or sedation to help manage pain and anxiety. Depending on the complexity of the procedure and your individual needs, the dentist may use local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia.

Local anesthesia numbs the area around the wisdom teeth and is typically used for simple extractions. Nitrous oxide is a gas that is inhaled through a mask and can help to reduce anxiety and discomfort. IV sedation involves the use of medications that are administered through a vein in the arm, and can help to induce a deep state of relaxation. General anesthesia, which involves complete unconsciousness, is typically used for more complex procedures.

The Procedure

Once you are under anesthesia or sedation, the dentist will begin the wisdom teeth removal procedure. Depending on the position of the wisdom teeth, the dentist may need to make incisions in the gums or remove some of the surrounding bone to access the teeth. The teeth may also need to be broken into smaller pieces in order to be removed.

After the teeth have been removed, the dentist will place gauze over the extraction sites to help control bleeding and encourage clotting. In some cases, the dentist may also place sutures (stitches) to close the incisions.

Recovery

After the wisdom teeth removal procedure is complete, you will need to spend some time in the recovery room to allow the anesthesia or sedation to wear off. You may experience some pain, swelling, and bleeding in the days following the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications and by following the dentist’s instructions for care.

You may also need to stick to a soft-foods diet for a few days and avoid strenuous activity, smoking, and drinking through a straw. It is important to keep the extraction sites clean by gently rinsing with warm salt water, and to avoid touching the areas with your tongue or fingers.

Follow-up Appointments

After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you will need to schedule follow-up appointments with your dentist to monitor your healing and ensure that there are no complications. It is important to attend these appointments and to report any symptoms such as severe pain, excessive bleeding, or signs of infection.

Looking For Wisdom Teeth Removal in Columbia, SC?

If you are experiencing issues with your wisdom teeth and need to have them removed, there are many dentists and dental practices in Columbia, SC, that can offer this service. It is important to choose a dentist who is experienced and skilled in performing wisdom teeth removal procedures, and who uses modern technology and techniques to ensure that the procedure is as comfortable and effective as possible. For patients seeking a comprehensive dental experience with a focus on patient comfort, Smile Columbia dentist Dr. Adam Hahn offer a range of dental services, including wisdom teeth removal, in a comfortable and welcoming environment. With these options available, patients can feel confident that they will receive the best possible dental care in Columbia, SC.