Wisdom teeth removal is the third set of molars that typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. While some people have no issues with their wisdom teeth, many experience pain, swelling, infection, and other problems that may require extraction. In some cases, emergency wisdom teeth removal may be necessary to alleviate severe pain, prevent further complications, and save the affected tooth.
In this blog post, we will explore the subtopics listed above to give you a comprehensive understanding of what to expect when faced with the need for emergency wisdom teeth removal.
Wisdom teeth are not necessary for chewing or biting, and some people may never develop them at all. However, when they do emerge, they can cause several problems, such as:
- Crowding: When there is not enough space in the jaw for the wisdom teeth, they can push the other teeth out of alignment, causing pain and bite problems.
- Impaction: When the wisdom teeth only partially emerge, they can get trapped in the gum tissue or bone, leading to infection, decay, and gum disease.
- Infection: When the wisdom teeth become impacted or partially emerge, bacteria can enter the gums, leading to inflammation, pain, and infection.
- Cysts and tumours: In rare cases, cysts and tumours can form around the wisdom teeth, leading to bone loss and nerve damage.
If left untreated, these problems can worsen over time, leading to severe pain, swelling, and other complications. Emergency wisdom teeth removal may be necessary in some cases to prevent further damage.\
Read Also: When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Signs and Symptoms That Indicate the Need for Emergency Wisdom Teeth Removal
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek emergency dental care to determine whether you need wisdom teeth removal:
- Severe pain in the back of the mouth or jaw that does not go away with painkillers
- Swelling or redness in the gums or jawline
- Bleeding or pus discharge from the gums around the wisdom teeth
- Difficulty opening the mouth or swallowing
- Foul breath or taste in the mouth
- Fever or chills
- Headache or earache
- A visible abscess or cyst on the gums or jawline
These symptoms may indicate that you have an infection or other complication that requires immediate attention.
How to Prepare for Emergency Wisdom Teeth Removal
If you need emergency wisdom teeth removal, you should prepare by doing the following:
- Contact an emergency dental clinic or your regular dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Many clinics offer 24/7 emergency services to accommodate urgent cases.
- Ask about the cost of the procedure and whether your insurance covers it. Emergency procedures may be more expensive than scheduled ones, so be prepared to pay out of pocket if necessary.
- Follow the dentist's instructions on what to eat or drink before the procedure. In general, you should avoid eating or drinking anything for several hours before the surgery to prevent nausea or vomiting during the procedure.
- Bring someone with you to drive you home after the procedure. You may feel groggy or dizzy after the anaesthesia, so it is not safe to drive or operate heavy machinery.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement or breathing. Avoid wearing jewellery, contact lenses, or anything that could interfere with the procedure.
An Overview of the Different Methods Used for Emergency Wisdom Teeth Removal
During emergency wisdom teeth removal, the dentist will numb the affected area with local anaesthesia, sedation, or general anaesthesia, depending on the severity of the case and the patient's preference. The dentist may also use different techniques to remove the tooth, such as:
- Simple extraction: This method is used for fully emerged teeth that have a square root and are easy to access. The dentist will loosen the tooth with a tool called an elevator and then remove it with forceps.
- Surgical extraction: This method is used for impacted or partially emerged teeth that require incisions in the gum tissue and bone to access. The dentist may use sutures to close the incisions after the procedure.
- Laser extraction: This method uses a dental laser to remove the tooth and cauterize the surrounding tissue, reducing bleeding and pain.
The dentist will discuss the options and risks with you before the procedure and recommend the most suitable method for your case.
Possible Complications and Risks Associated with Emergency Wisdom Teeth Removal
Like any surgical procedure, emergency wisdom teeth removal carries some risks and potential complications. These may include:
- Bleeding or swelling: Some bleeding and swelling are normal after the procedure, but excessive bleeding or swelling may indicate an infection or other problem.
- Nerve damage: The nerves that control sensation and movement in the face and mouth are located near the wisdom teeth, and may be damaged during the extraction, causing numbness, tingling, or other symptoms.
- Infection: Bacteria can enter the extraction site and cause an infection, which may require antibiotics or further treatment.
- Dry socket: This condition occurs when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site dislodges or dissolves, exposing the bone and nerves to air and food particles, causing severe pain and bad breath.
To prevent or manage these complications, follow the dentist's aftercare instructions carefully, and contact them immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms.
Aftercare Instructions and Tips for a Speedy Recovery
After the procedure, the dentist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for the extraction site and reduce pain and swelling. These may include:
- Applying ice packs to the affected area for 10-20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling and pain
- Taking painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by the dentist
- Rinsing the mouth with salt water or antiseptic mouthwash to prevent infection
- Avoiding hard or crunchy foods that may dislodge the blood clot or irritate the extraction site
- Drinking plenty of fluids and eating soft, nutritious foods such as soups, smoothies, and mashed potatoes
- Brushing and flossing the teeth gently but avoiding the extraction site until it has healed
- Avoiding smoking or using straws, which can dislodge the blood clot and delay healing
Follow these instructions carefully to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications. If you experience severe pain, bleeding, or other symptoms, contact the dentist immediately.
When to Seek Further Medical Attention and Follow-Up Appointments After Emergency Wisdom Teeth Removal
After the procedure, the dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to check the healing progress and remove any sutures if necessary. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek further medical attention:
- Severe pain that does not improve with painkillers
- Excessive bleeding or swelling
- Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, or pus discharge
- Numbness or tingling in the face or mouth that does not go away
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
These symptoms may indicate a complication or underlying condition that requires further treatment.
Emergency wisdom teeth removal may sound intimidating, but it is a common and necessary procedure for many people. By understanding the reasons, methods, risks, and aftercare involved, you can approach it with confidence and minimize the discomfort and complications. If you experience any symptoms or concerns before or after the procedure, do not hesitate to contact your dentist or healthcare provider.
Q1. What is emergency wisdom teeth removal?
A1. Emergency wisdom teeth removal is a dental procedure performed to remove a wisdom tooth that is causing severe pain, infection, or other complications.
Q2. When is emergency wisdom teeth removal necessary?
A2. Emergency wisdom teeth removal is necessary when a wisdom tooth is causing severe pain, swelling, infection, or other complications that cannot be treated with medication or other conservative measures.
Q3. Can emergency wisdom teeth removal be performed at any time of day?
A3. Yes, many dental offices offer 24-hour emergency dental services, including emergency wisdom teeth removal.
Q4. How much does emergency wisdom teeth removal cost?
A4. The cost of emergency wisdom teeth removal can vary depending on several factors, such as the severity of the problem and the dentist's experience. On average, the cost of emergency wisdom teeth removal can range from $500 to $3,000 or more.
Q5. What are the risks of emergency wisdom teeth removal?
A5. Risks associated with emergency wisdom teeth removal may include bleeding, infection, nerve damage, or damage to surrounding teeth. It is important to consult with a dentist to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure.