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Wisdom Tooth: Extraction Process and Aftercare

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wisdom tooth extraction

Wisdom Tooth: Extraction Process and Aftercare

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, often emerge during the late teens or early twenties. Our distant ancestors’ diets were much tougher and required more chewing. Hence, these teeth served a purpose to them. Their larger jaw size also provided ample space for the wisdom teeth to erupt.

Nowadays, our diets are softer, and more often than not, our jaws lack the necessary space for wisdom teeth to erupt properly. So, they frequently lead to various dental issues.

Wisdom tooth removal is a common dental procedure, but it requires attentive post-operative care to ensure a smooth recovery and optimal oral health.


Why Wisdom Tooth Removal Becomes Necessary

  • Impacted and Misaligned Growth: Impacted wisdom teeth, which fail to fully erupt, can become trapped within the jawbone or gum tissue. Misalignment further complicates matters, often causing pressure and pain due to the inability to fit properly within the existing dental arch.
  • Potential Oral Health Complications: When wisdom teeth are unable to emerge properly or are partially erupted, they create pockets where food particles and bacteria can accumulate.
    This setting becomes ripe for infections, gum disease, and decay. There is also a challenge to clean them effectively due to their location at the back of the mouth.
  • Crowding and Shifting of Teeth: The limited space in our jaws, combined with the late eruption of wisdom teeth, can lead to crowding issues. These additional molars might push against existing teeth, causing shifting, misalignment, and potential damage to the overall tooth structure.


Techniques for Wisdom Tooth Removal:

Wisdom tooth removal is a delicate procedure that requires a skilled approach to ensure patient comfort and minimize potential complications.

By considering the tooth’s position, potential complications, and patient comfort, dental professionals select the appropriate technique to safely and efficiently remove wisdom teeth.


  • Anesthesia Options:

    Patient comfort is a priority during wisdom tooth removal. Dental professionals offer various anesthesia options, including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for relaxation, and intravenous (IV) sedation for a deeper level of sedation.

    The chosen method depends on factors such as the tooth’s position, the patient’s anxiety level, and the complexity of the procedure.


  • Simple Extraction:

    This technique is suitable when the wisdom tooth has fully erupted and is easily accessible. The dentist or oral surgeon begins by numbing the area with a local anesthetic to ensure a painless procedure. Using specialized instruments, they gently loosen the tooth from its socket and carefully extract it. Stitches may be required to close the incision, which typically dissolves on its own over time.


  • Surgical Extraction:

    When a wisdom tooth is impacted (partially or completely submerged beneath the gum line), a surgical extraction is necessary. The procedure involves making a small incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth and underlying bone. In some cases, a portion of the bone might need to be removed to extract the tooth safely. Surgical extraction ensures minimal disturbance to surrounding structures.


Post-operative Care for Optimal Recovery

Proper post-operative care plays a crucial role in minimizing discomfort, reducing the risk of complications, and promoting optimal healing:

  • Managing Swelling: Swelling is a common post-operative symptom. Using ice packs during the first 24 hours can help minimize swelling. Keeping your head elevated while sleeping can also assist in reducing swelling.
  • Immediate Recovery Period: In the first 24 hours, take rest and avoid strenuous activities. Also, do not have any hot beverages or food in the first 24 hours as it increases the blood flow to the extraction site, and it might start bleeding again due to a weak clot.

    Avoid activities that could potentially disrupt the healing process, such as smoking or using straws. These actions can create suction or pressure that might dislodge blood clots or interfere with healing.

  • Pain Management: Mild to moderate pain is common during the first few days after wisdom tooth removal. Your oral surgeon may prescribe pain relievers or recommend over-the-counter options to manage pain. Following the prescribed dosage and schedule is essential for effective pain relief.
  • Diet: Stick to a soft diet during the first 24 hours to avoid putting excessive pressure on the surgical sites. Opt for foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, soups, and smoothies. Avoid hot, spicy, and crunchy foods that could irritate the area.
  • Oral Hygiene Care: Maintaining oral hygiene is crucial for preventing infections. Gently brush your teeth, avoiding the surgical areas for the first couple of days.

    After the initial period, you can carefully clean around the extraction sites with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Avoid vigorous rinsing, and instead, use a saltwater rinse as advised by your oral surgeon.

  • Stitches and Follow-Up Visits: If stitches are used, your surgeon will provide instructions on when they need to be removed. Attend follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing.
  • Be Patient: Wisdom tooth removal recovery takes time, and it’s important to be patient with the healing process. If you experience persistent pain, excessive bleeding, or signs of infection (such as increased swelling, fever, or foul taste), contact your oral surgeon promptly.



With a clearer understanding of the significance of wisdom tooth removal, the extraction process itself, and the crucial aftercare steps, you’re better equipped for this important journey.

If you need Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Modesto, Visit Paragon Dental.

At Paragon Dental, we strive to provide high-quality dental care to our patients.

Call us now for an appointment at (209) 548-0100, or come by our clinic at Paragon Dental, 1108 Oakdale Road, Suite A, Modesto, California 95355.

Have Dental Problem: Call us at (209) 548-0100 or make an Appointment