Wondering if it's time to get your wisdom teeth pulled? Our Greenfield Park dentists give some information about signs that your wisdom teeth should be removed.
What are wisdom teeth?
Between the ages of 17 and 25, many of us have a third set of molars emerge that are widely known as 'wisdom teeth.' If they are healthy and straight when they erupt, wisdom teeth generally cause few problems. However, if your wisdom teeth come in misaligned, or do not erupt properly, dental surgery may be recommended so your wisdom teeth can be removed.
When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Your dentist can help to preserve your oral health and comfort by removing problematic wisdom teeth– and preventing issues in the future. In some cases, a patient will undergo another procedure (example: corrective jaw surgery) that requires their wisdom teeth to be extracted so they won’t be in the way.
Wisdom teeth should ideally be removed before they cause pain, discomfort, or difficulty eating – and before an infection develops. Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing pain, they may still eventually cause crowding, which can lead to tooth decay as crowded teeth can be difficult to clean.
You’ll want to schedule your wisdom teeth extraction in advance, and allow a few days for recovery.
At what age do people have their wisdom teeth removed?
Typically, it’s ideal to have wisdom teeth removed around the age of 18 because the tooth roots haven’t completely formed and attached to the jaw bone. Once the roots of the wisdom teeth are fully formed, the procedure and recovery process can be more difficult.
When do you need to have your wisdom teeth removed?
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to contact your dentist because your wisdom teeth could be causing issues such as:
- Sinus problems
- Bad breath (caused by infection or plaque bacteria collecting on the wisdom teeth)
- Pain in teeth or jaw
- Difficulty eating
- Gum inflammation
- Facial swelling (caused by impacted wisdom teeth that remain below the gum surface)
- Misaligned wisdom teeth
Is it painful to have your wisdom teeth removed?
Nowadays, having one's tooth extracted is far less painful than ever before! Due to the use of sedatives and anesthetics, many patients who have had their wisdom teeth pulled experience little discomfort, and perhaps only minor bleeding.
Before the tooth is extracted, the area around the tooth will be numbed with an injectable or topical anesthetic to ensure comfort.
Once your dentist has removed the tooth, he or she will discuss tooth replacements options with you. These may include bridges or dentures.
How long does recovery take?
Many dentists offer options such as IV sedation so the procedure is as comfortable as possible for patients.
Expect to be in and out of your appointment in about an hour. Recovery takes a few days, with some potential discomfort and swelling within the first 2 to 3 days.
During healing, eat soft foods, refrain from strenuous physical activity, and follow your dentist’s advice and post-care instructions. If you do these things you should have a smooth recovery process.