Wisdom Tooth Removal 101
The average person has four wisdom teeth that usually erupt between ages 17 and 25. These teeth are extra molars located in the back corners of your mouth near your other molar teeth.
For most people, these extra teeth won’t fit comfortably inside their mouths due to a lack of space or misalignment with existing teeth. This is why dentists often recommend having them removed.
Though you may have an initial apprehension about getting your wisdom teeth taken out, it’s important to remember that modern dental technology makes the procedure safe and relatively painless. Understanding the procedure, along with why it’s necessary for your long-term oral health, is the first step in ensuring that your wisdom tooth removal goes as smoothly as possible.
What Are Wisdom Teeth & How Many Do You Have?
Wisdom teeth are a set of four molars located at the back of your mouth, usually erupting during late adolescence or early adulthood. However, for many people, the growth of their wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding in the jaw and lead to pain and discomfort due to their positioning.
Therefore, wisdom tooth extraction is sometimes necessary, especially if they become infected or damaged, or when orthodontic procedures require them to be removed.
There are many factors that must be taken into account before deciding whether or not to remove your wisdom teeth, and regular dental checkups can help identify any potential risks associated with leaving them intact. In some cases, dentists will even recommend preventive wisdom tooth removal to avoid complications down the road.
When Should I Consider Getting My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
The first factor to consider when looking into wisdom tooth removal is age. Generally speaking, it’s recommended that people get their wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 17-21, as your teeth are easier to remove in this range with less risk of complication or damage to other teeth in the area.
Additionally, if you leave them in for too long, they may become impacted or start causing pain and discomfort, which will require more complex surgery.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of disease, such as infections or cysts around the wisdom tooth area, before opting for removal. Your dentist in Newmarket can use x-rays or scans to identify these issues.
What Are the Benefits of Removing a Wisdom Tooth (& the Risks of Choosing Not to)?
The benefits of removing a wisdom tooth include reducing crowding in the mouth, preventing decay by removing bacteria-filled pockets between teeth, and improving alignment for better jaw function.
Meanwhile, if you choose not to remove your wisdom teeth, there could be some risks associated with this decision, such as pain from impacted wisdom teeth, infection due to overcrowded gum tissue around an erupting wisdom tooth, or damage caused when emerging wisdom teeth push against existing ones.
At the end of the day, it is important to weigh your options carefully before deciding on how best to proceed with your dental care.
Different Types of Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedures
With so many different types of wisdom tooth removal procedures available, it’s important to understand which one is best suited for your individual needs. From minor extractions to more complex surgery, let’s take a look at the three main types of wisdom tooth extraction:
- Simple Extraction: A common procedure where general anesthesia or local anesthetic numbs the area, after which forceps are used to remove the tooth from its socket in the jawbone.
- Surgical Extraction: When your dentist cannot access the affected area with a simple extraction due to overcrowding or impacted teeth, surgical extraction may be necessary. This type of wisdom tooth removal involves making incisions into the gum tissue and removing bone around the tooth before extracting it.
- Wisdom Tooth Removal Under General Anesthesia: If you have difficulty tolerating pain or anxiety when undergoing dental work, this option allows you to sleep through your entire wisdom tooth removal while under full sedation.
No matter which type of wisdom tooth extraction you decide is right for you, understanding all aspects associated with each will help make sure that you choose wisely. From thorough preparation with your dentist prior to the procedure itself to post-operative care, having knowledge about every step ensures that your experience will remain as safe and comfortable as possible.
What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
After your wisdom tooth removal procedure, you may be feeling a bit groggy from the anesthesia, and it’s important to take some time for your body to adjust and recover fully. Generally speaking, recovery times vary greatly depending on the specific type of wisdom tooth extraction performed, but there are still some universal expectations you can have after any kind of wisdom tooth removal.
Firstly, it’s normal to experience swelling around your jawline after surgery, as well as minor bleeding or oozing in the area from which your teeth were extracted. To reduce these symptoms, use an ice pack regularly throughout the day and avoid strenuous activities such as exercise until your mouth has healed completely.
Additionally, pain medication will usually be prescribed in order to manage any discomfort during the wisdom tooth removal recovery period.
Finally, it is important to follow a soft-food diet immediately following surgery – this means avoiding crunchy foods like chips or hard fruits, which could cause damage or interfere with the healing of your surgical site.
Wisdom tooth removal can be a necessary procedure for many people, and carries several important considerations to keep in mind such as the recovery time, cost, and potential risks involved. While some individuals may not require extracting their wisdom teeth at all, others may benefit from having them removed if they’re causing problems.
At Dawson Dental, our team of professionals is here for you every step of the way during your wisdom tooth removal process, and is ready to answer any questions you may have about the procedure or your oral health. Reach out to a member of our team today to book your consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Complications Associated with Wisdom Tooth Removal?
When a wisdom tooth is impacted or has not grown in correctly, it may require extraction, increasing the risk of developing an infected gum after the procedure. This can be caused by bacteria present before the surgery, or due to poor post-operative care.
To prevent infection, follow your dentist’s instructions carefully and take all medications as prescribed. It is also important to practice good oral hygiene following the extraction, and make sure to rinse your mouth with warm water and salt several times daily. In addition, it is critical to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating hard food until your mouth has completely healed.
How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Take?
Usually, wisdom tooth extractions are relatively short procedures taking around 30 minutes or less depending on the complexity of your case. If you have multiple teeth that need to be removed, then the process may take longer, as each one is carefully extracted from its roots in order to preserve your surrounding teeth and gums.
Your dentist will also be looking out for any potential nerve damage or infections that could arise during the extraction process, which further adds to this timeline.
How Do You Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Removal?
When preparing for your wisdom tooth removal, it’s important to visit an oral surgeon who specializes in wisdom tooth extractions. Ask questions so you understand the entire process and can know what to expect during the surgery.
In addition, follow any pre-operative instructions given by your dentist or oral surgeon. These could include not eating or drinking anything after midnight on the day prior to surgery, wearing loose clothing when visiting their office, or bringing along a friend or family member for support.
Lastly, ask about medication options like painkillers or antibiotics which may be necessary before and/or after the wisdom tooth extraction. Make sure you get all necessary prescriptions filled beforehand so they’re ready for use after the surgery.
Should You Remove All 4 Wisdom Teeth at Once?
In some cases, if only one or two teeth need to be removed, then it may make more sense to do so separately instead of taking them all out in one go. This allows for less invasive surgery with fewer complications from general anesthesia and a shorter recovery time due to smaller incisions being made in the gums.
However, if all four wisdom teeth are causing problems – like crowding other teeth or chronic infection – removing them together might be the most efficient option. Additionally, doing all four extractions simultaneously eliminates any additional trips back to the dentist’s office while also cutting down costs.
Ultimately, it’s important to discuss your options with your oral surgeon who will be able to provide specialized advice tailored to your case.