Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure for many people, typically done in the late teens or early twenties. It involves taking out one or more of the molars that are located at the very back of the jaw.
Although wisdom teeth removal can often be successful, there are some potential complications that may arise during or after surgery. Here we will explore some of these complications and examine how they can be prevented and treated.
Definition of wisdom teeth removal
Wisdom teeth removal is a quite common dental procedure. It involves the removal of the molars at the very back of the jaw, usually in the late teens or early twenties.
The teeth are usually extracted because they tend to grow in an abnormal position or cause crowding, leading to pain and infection.
In some cases, wisdom teeth removal can be done without any surgical intervention, but often it requires minor surgery to properly remove the teeth.
Overview of common complications
Some common complications associated with wisdom teeth removal include bleeding and swelling, dry socket, nerve damage, and infection. In some cases, there may be pain and stiffness at the surgical site or even excessive bone loss.
It is important to note that these complications may arise during or after the surgery, so it is important to consult a dentist regularly to monitor any changes post-surgery.
Symptoms of Complications
Swelling, pain and bleeding
Swelling and pain are common side effects of wisdom teeth removal and can last for a few days after the procedure.
Bleeding is also possible after surgery; however, it should subside within a few hours. It is important to take medications prescribed by the dentist or doctor to reduce swelling and discomfort, as well as keep the wound clean and dry.
Difficulty opening the mouth and eating
Difficulty opening the mouth and eating may occur after wisdom teeth removal. This is due to pain and swelling, which can restrict the movement of the jaw. In some cases, stiffness in the muscles or jaw joint can also cause difficulty with movement.
Pain medications should be taken as prescribed by your dentist or doctor to help reduce these symptoms. Ice packs applied to the surgical site can also help reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
Types of Complications
Misdiagnosis and infection after surgery
Misdiagnosis can occur when a wisdom tooth doesn’t need to be removed and is therefore not recommended. Infection may also occur after surgery if the area is not properly cared for or if bacteria enter the wound site.
To reduce the risk of infection, it is important to follow all care instructions provided by your dentist or doctor. Keeping the area clean and dry will help reduce the chance of infection. Regularly applying antibiotic ointment can also help ward off infection.
Dry socket, nerve damage and sinus problems
Dry sockets, nerve damage, and sinus problems can occur after wisdom teeth removal. A dry socket happens when the blood clot formed in the empty tooth socket is dislodged prematurely or disrupted. Nerve damage can occur if an inexperienced surgeon damages the nerve during surgery.
Sinus problems may occur if a lower wisdom tooth is removed close to the sinus cavity. To decrease the chances of these complications, it’s important to find a highly qualified and experienced surgeon for wisdom teeth removal.
Prevention of Complications
Prevention of complications after wisdom teeth removal can be done by following proper post-operative care, such as keeping the area clean and dry, taking medications as prescribed, avoiding smoking and drinking and eating only soft foods.
Additionally, it’s important to choose a highly qualified and experienced surgeon for the procedure. If any pain or other unusual symptoms occur after the surgery, it’s better to have them checked out right away to avoid further complications.
Treatment for Complications
Treatment for complications after wisdom teeth removal varies depending on the nature of the issue.
If a dry socket occurs, it can be treated with irrigation to remove any debris from the empty socket and with antibiotics or pain medications as needed.
Severe nerve damage may require medical attention, however, milder issues often heal themselves if left untampered with. Sinus problems may require surgical drainage or antibiotics and in extreme cases, sinus augmentation surgery.
It is important to be aware of the potential risks and complications that can arise during or after wisdom teeth removal. Though complications are not common, they can severely impact the patient’s recovery time and quality of life.
It is best to follow the post-operative instructions given by the dentist, practice good dental hygiene and contact them immediately if any unusual symptoms appear. With proper care, most patients will experience an uncomplicated recovery with little to no discomfort.