Everyone dreads the painful rite of passage, that is having your wisdom teeth pulled. The pain, the drugs, the swelling, and the procedure can seem daunting and undesirable.
Learning that your condition necessitates such a procedure can immediately send a nervous rush up your spine and a sinking feeling into the pit of your stomach.
It’s easy to get discouraged, but it’s also easy to overcome. As with any surgical procedure, knowledge is key, and the better you understand the process, the more demystified it becomes. To help any impending patients quell their concerns, or to simply satisfy the curious web-surfer, here’s a step-by-step guide through a wisdom tooth removal surgery from Seven Oaks Dental Centre.
#1 – Preparation And Planning
As in any medical procedure, the first step involves analyzing and creating a game plan. Your dentist will want to begin the surgery by conducting a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of your oral health condition.
- They’ll take X-rays to determine whether your tooth is impacted, curved, or oversized.
- From this, your dentist will discern the best course of action for your tooth’s unique condition.
- Once they’ve gathered all the needed information, they’ll begin the process in whatever specific way they’ve deemed fit.
No one wants to fly blindly through a surgical operation, even one as contained as a wisdom tooth extraction. Once your dentist has properly defined their course of action, they’ll begin the operation.
#2 – Creation Of Dental Flaps
While there are many different approaches to the operation, all based on your specific condition, the most common is what’s known as “dental flapping.”
● When a dentist creates dental flaps in a patient’s mouth, they’re trying to cut away the section of the gums that the impacted tooth is gripping.
● Your dentist will make two incisions -- one on each side of the tooth in question.
● Your dentist will cut outside in, slicing out two right triangles of gum tissue while loosening the tooth’s grip on the mouth.
This incision phase requires a steady hand and professional finesse. Dentists try to cut away just enough to properly loosen the tooth without unnecessarily harming the patient’s gums.
#3 – Extraction Of The Entrenched Tooth
Now comes the most critical phase of the entire process: the actual removal of the tooth in question. Once the dental flaps have been created and the area around the tooth cleared of debris and fluid, your dentist will attempt to pull your tooth right out of your mouth.
● The entire process up to this point has been about preparing the site around the tooth for extraction.
● Now that your dentist has a clear path for removal, they’ll use their forceps to grip the tooth, and with a gentle firmness, try to pull your tooth.
● This can be tricky, especially in cases where the root of the tooth is curved.
● More and more dental flaps may wound up being cut if the tooth fails to comply with the dentist’s pulling.
● Dentists again will endeavor to minimize the damage done to your gums, but in some cases will wind up having to cut deeper and deeper in order to remove the tooth.
The extraction phase of the surgery can get a little chaotic. Dentists want to pull the tooth without forcing it and harming your gumline. But they also still need to be forceful and willing to cut as many dental flaps as required. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but if your dentist has properly prepared, they’ll be more than ready for the challenge.
#4 – Suturing The Socket
The final phase of the process involves your dentist suturing and stitching the now- empty socket closed to keep it safe from infection.
● Depending on your condition, your dentist might equip you with dissolving or non-dissolving sutures.
● A dissolving suture will dissolve into your mouth within 7 days, while a non-dissolving one will need to be removed by your dentist after 10 days.
● Proper suturing will help you avoid the ominous dry-socket effect, wherein the now-empty socket fails to clot properly and leaves your nerves exposed to crippling pain.
Suturing is the final piece of the puzzle, and can often make the difference between a successful procedure and a botched one. The healing process takes time, but if your dentist sutures correctly, then the wait will be well worth it.
Whether your wisdom teeth are impacted, curved, or cracking, your dentist will need to be prepared with a comprehensive game plan. Once they’ve prepared, cut, and extracted your tooth, they’ll suture accordingly and send you about your merry way. It’s as simple as that! It’s a non-invasive and relatively straightforward process that’ll have you smiling, pain-free, in no time.