Wisdom teeth typically begin to grow in behind the last set of molars in one’s upper and lower jaw between the ages of 17 to 25. Usually, these teeth do not have enough room to grow, which can cause pain, infection, or other dental issues. Because of these potential problems, people usually need to have their wisdom teeth removed.
At Maidu Dental, we can help determine whether you need wisdom teeth extracted; call (530) 823-8771 to set up an appointment and figure out whether you need your wisdom teeth removed.
Who Needs Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Some patients have wisdom teeth that grow in and become fully functional, but in most cases, wisdom teeth develop abnormally and will cause issues that require removal. Patients in their late teens and early twenties usually have wisdom teeth beginning to emerge, and at this time, their dentist can determine whether extraction is necessary.
People who require wisdom teeth removal have teeth that are:
• Growing in at an angle toward to second molar (the tooth next to it)
• Growing at an angle toward the back of the mouth
• Growing perpendicularly to other teeth (at a ninety-degree angle)
• Remaining trapped within the jawbone
Teeth removed prior to approximately age twenty or so have less developed roots, lessening the possibility of complications after extraction.
Why Remove the Wisdom Teeth?
Problematic wisdom teeth can trap food and bacteria between teeth, leading to issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and infection. Abnormal growth, as listed above, can lead to damage to surrounding teeth. Patients often detect wisdom teeth growth when they experience pain and discomfort, which is another reason to remove them. Even asymptomatic wisdom teeth pose potential issues. Many dentists suggest preventive extraction of wisdom teeth to circumvent pain, discomfort, and potential issues.
What is the Removal Procedure Like?
Removing the wisdom teeth requires a day of surgery in which a patient will remain conscious.
During the procedure, your dentist will:
1. Administer a local anesthetic
2. Make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone
3. Remove any bone that might block access to the wisdom tooth root
4. Remove the wisdom teeth
5. Clean the site of the removal
6. Stitch the wound closed
7. Place gauze over the extraction site to help blood clot
How Long is the Recovery Period?
You should follow your dentist’s instructions for healing after your wisdom teeth removal, which can take several days to a week. Your dentist will advise the following tips for you to recover properly:
• Plan to rest for the remainder of the day following the procedure.
• Refrain from excessive spitting or strenuous activity that may dislodge the blood clot in the sockets that help facilitate the healing process.
• For managing pain after the procedure, your dentist might prescribe pain medication if bone removal in addition to the teeth was necessary. (Otherwise, over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen will work.)
• Use an ice pack if you experience swelling or bruising.
• Drink plenty of water after the surgery, but avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, carbonated, and hot beverages for at least the twenty-four hours following.
• Eat soft foods for the next day and try semisolid foods slowly.
Although it might seem daunting to have your wisdom teeth extracted, it will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy long-term. Call (530) 823-8771 to speak with a member of our team at Maidu Dental; set an appointment to see when or if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed.