The upper and lower third molars are also called your wisdom teeth. These teeth are located at the very back of your mouth. They are usually the last teeth to surface in the mouth. They usually appear between the ages of 17 and 24 years old.
Some people have their wisdom teeth for their entire life. However, most people today opt to have their wisdom teeth removed. Some people have their wisdom teeth taken out even before they break through the gums.
People who live with their wisdom teeth for their lifetime usually do not experience any complications. But for some people, their wisdom teeth never erupt. And this can lead to swelling, gum ulcers and pain. Once the wisdom tooth becomes impacted and it starts pressing up against another tooth, it can damage the tooth beside it or the jawbone. These two are the main reasons why people usually have to undergo oral surgery to have a wisdom tooth removed.
Having a wisdom tooth removed is not as easy or simple as undergoing a regular tooth extraction. It requires a surgery since the dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. The dentist will then separate the tissue that connects the tooth to the bone. Then the dentist will remove the tooth. The tooth is usually cut into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. Once the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Depending on your dentist, these stitches can dissolve over time or you will have to go back to the clinic to have them removed.
If you will be having your wisdom tooth removed sometime soon, below are some tips you should follow to properly prepare for this procedure:
Inform your dentist all the medicines and natural health products you take. Some of the medicines and supplements you drink daily can increase the risk of bleeding or interact with anesthesia. If you take blood-thinners, such as warfarin, clopidogrel, or aspirin, your doctor and dentist may ask that you stop taking these for a few weeks before and after the procedure.
Schedule the procedure at the right time. Schedule your appointment on a Thursday or Friday so that you can have the weekend off to rest and recuperate.
Stock up on soft food such as gelatin, yogurt, pudding, and cottage cheese. You will be prescribed a soft diet for several days after the surgery so stock up on these food items. You can also eat some soup, but only if it is served warm, not hot. Avoid foods that are crunchy and require a lot of chewing.
Finally, make sure you bring a companion when you go to the dental clinic. Make sure you have someone to drive you home since the anesthesia and pain medicine administered or given to you will make it unsafe for you to drive.