Wisdom Teeth Extraction: What You Can Expect
Wisdom teeth are the final permanent teeth to appear in adults. Many people experience problems with their wisdom teeth that can result in the need for a wisdom teeth extraction procedure. In many cases people develop impacted wisdom teeth, meaning that the teeth do not have enough room to grow in. Here is what you can expect from a wisdom teeth extraction procedure.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Typically Appear?
Wisdom teeth generally appear between the ages of 17 and 24. In certain people, the wisdom may never develop at all. However, other people may find that all of their wisdom teeth have erupted. In certain cases, wisdom teeth can grow in without causing any troubles for a dental patient. However, in other cases a wisdom teeth extraction becomes necessary to resolve infection or inflammation that has occurred due to impacted wisdom teeth.
How Is This Procedure Done?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon or your dentist can perform a wisdom teeth extraction. The procedure is generally tailored to each patient because the problems that the patient is experiencing can be somewhat different. Before you consider having this procedure, you should talk with your dentist about your previous medical history. In some cases local anesthesia is required and you should be in good health before the procedure is performed.
The dentist or surgeon will perform the procedure by using dental forceps and an instrument to widen the tooth socket. In cases where there is deep impaction of the tooth, the surgeon may have to remove some bone by making an incision in the gums. Once the teeth have been removed, the incision will be closed using stitches. The entire procedure can take just one hour. However, the patient may require additional time for healing and a follow-up to check the progress of the formation of the blood clots.
How Long Does It Take to Heal?
After a wisdom teeth extraction procedure, patients are generally prescribed painkillers and are told to rest. In many cases, the recovery period last just a few days. Patients should avoid eating hard foods and should not use a straw for at least the first few days.
An ice pack should be used within the first 24 hours after surgery in order to reduce swelling. Rinsing with salt water is recommended to reduce swelling and pain. The dentist may opt to insert self-dissolving stitches that will disappear as the wounds heal so that they do not need to be removed.
Things to Consider Before You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted
If your wisdom teeth are not causing problems for you right now, you may want to consider having the surgery to prevent dental problems later on. The younger you are, the easier it is to remove the teeth because the roots of the teeth are not fully developed. In addition, the majority of patients that experience problems with wisdom teeth are between the ages of 15 and 30. If you have other medical conditions, having your wisdom teeth removed is a good option while you are still healthy because the teeth can cause problems later on, making the surgery more risky.
If you want to learn more about the risks and benefits of having a wisdom teeth extraction performed, discuss your concerns with your dentist.