Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Getting wisdom teeth out is a common dental procedure that sometimes gets a bad rap. Millions of people have wisdom teeth surgery every year, but many don’t know much about the teeth or the process until it happens to them.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Technically, wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that emerge at the back of the jaw between the ages of 17 and 21. Some people get them later or not at all, and it’s not uncommon for kids to only have two or three wisdom teeth instead of four.
Dentists usually watch for signs of wisdom teeth when kids turn 15 or 16 because it’s important to identify any potential problems early. X-rays and imaging studies can help dental teams identify wisdom teeth and monitor their progress, so it’s necessary to keep up with regular check-ups.
About Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Why Is Wisdom Teeth Extraction Necessary?
Since the third molars usually erupt during the late teens or early twenties, most jaw growth is done, and there’s not enough room for more teeth. Since the third molars don’t have room to grow in normally, they can cause many problems.
- Wisdom teeth can come in at odd angles that disrupt tooth alignment.
- Some wisdom teeth never erupt fully and can cause infections due to bacteria buildup
- Third molars can damage the jaw bone and gums because there’s not enough space.
Some people don’t have problems with wisdom teeth, while others develop issues later in life. Only a dentist can tell whether or not wisdom teeth surgery is necessary. If they see early signs of trouble, they may suggest removal even if the patient isn’t having any immediate problems.
What to Expect with Wisdom Teeth Surgery
There are plenty of horror stories about getting wisdom teeth out, but it’s rare to have serious complications. Most people experience a little discomfort for a few days and then return to their normal activity. Understanding the process might help alleviate some concerns.
Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Usually, you meet with your dentist or oral surgeon before the surgery to discuss expectations. While the dental team may not be able to predict everything, between imaging studies and an oral exam, they can provide a pretty good idea about what your child can expect.
Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Wisdom teeth extraction generally requires local anesthesia, though it’s possible to discuss alternatives in complex cases or for people with anxiety. If you or your child feel anxious about the procedure, talk to your team about options.
The actual wisdom teeth surgery involves cutting the gums to extract the tooth. Then, the dentist or oral surgeon stitches the gums closed to heal. Complex cases with impacted teeth may require additional work, like removing bits of bone or taking the tooth out in pieces.
Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Your dental team will send your child home with instructions, but there are some general steps to follow. The first day typically involves sleepiness, so the best thing to do is rest.
- Blood typically clots around the stitches, and it’s crucial to leave it alone so that the gums can heal. Use gauze to help control the bleeding if necessary.
- Manage swelling by applying ice packs for fifteen minutes at a time.
- Drink liquids, especially water, and eat soft foods, but don’t use a straw because it could disrupt the stitches.
- Don’t brush, floss, spit, or rinse unless advised by the dentist.
By the second day, your child should feel somewhat better though resting is still a good idea. Any strenuous activities could disrupt the healing process. Monitor the area for signs of dry socket, a situation where the blood clot dislodged too soon.
Day three should be close to normal, though taking it easy is still advisable. Most people return to near-normal activity for days four through seven, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for signs of infection.
Why Get Wisdom Teeth Extraction at Pine Dentistry
We pride ourselves on being a dentist for the whole family. We specialize in kids treatments, but also service our adult patients with expertise. We know how important it is for your family to receive quality dental treatments, so that’s why offer:
- Flexible scheduling – So your entire family can get a wisdom tooth extraction when it works for them.
- We accept many forms of payment – From Medicaid and payment plans to insurance, we offer many ways to pay for your treatment.
- We make kids comfortable with the dentist – Our offices specialize in kids care so we know how to ensure kids have a tranquil time in our chairs.
- Our Dental Discount Plan – No insurance? Don’t let that stop you from visiting us. We offer a Dental Discount plan that pays for itself in the first visit.
- Multiple locations throughout Washington, D.C. – We want visiting the dentist to be as convenient as possible so we’re sure there is a location near you!
Wisdom Teeth Extraction FAQs
No, thanks to local or general anesthesia, the child shouldn’t feel anything at all.
Only your dental team can make that decision. Typically, it’s better to get all wisdom teeth out at once so that you only have to go through it one time.
It’s a good idea to wait at least five to seven days before returning to normal food. You don’t want them to knock the protective blood clot loose.