Facts about Wisdom Teeth Removal

Millions of wisdom teeth are extracted each year by oral surgeons. But why is this procedure necessary and what is it like?

Fact 1: Wisdom teeth can cause problems.

Wisdom teeth, which are also known as third molars, usually appear between ages 17 to 25. They’re the last teeth to erupt and, for some people, they never appear or cause problems. Many people have impacted wisdom teeth, which don’t have enough room to erupt in the mouth.

Some of the problems wisdom teeth can cause are:

  • Your jaw may be too small for them, which can cause them to be impacted and unable to break through the gum.
  • Wisdom teeth can break only part of the way through your gums, which can cause a flap that traps germs.
  • Impacted teeth can cause infections, damage to the teeth or cysts.

Fact 2: Wisdom teeth extraction can prevent problems.

Some oral surgeons will suggest removing wisdom teeth in order to prevent:

  • Crowding of the teeth in the back of the mouth
  • Wisdom teeth being impacted in the jaw
  • Gum disease caused by tooth decay in the wisdom teeth

Fact 3: Wisdom teeth removal is surgery.

Your dentist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can extract a wisdom tooth in their office. Some patients may have it done in a hospital, if necessary, due to being considered high risk.

  1. You will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area. A general anesthetic may be used if you are having several teeth removed, which means you will sleep through the procedure.
  2. The doctor will open the gum tissue over the tooth, take out any bone covering it, separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and remove the tooth.
  3. You may get stitches, which will dissolve or be removed a few days following the procedure.

Fact 4: You need a few days to recover after having your wisdom teeth removed.

Recovery can last a few days for most people. Your dentist or oral surgeon will probably prescribe you painkillers to relieve the pain. Some tips for recovery are:

  • Change the gauze in your mouth periodically.
  • Do not bite the inside of your mouth or tongue.
  • Prop your head up with pillows and be sure not to lie flat.
  • Place an ice pack on your cheek for 15 minutes at a time for the first day.
  • Relax and don’t engage in too much physical activity.
  • Eat soft foods and thin soup. Avoid using straws.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Some dental specialists disagree about extracting teeth that aren’t causing any issues. We suggest that you work with a dentist and oral surgeon whom you trust so you can make an informed decision.

Contact us at TruFamily Dental to make an appointment today.

Posted In: Dental Procedures