What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Commonly referred to as the third molars, the wisdom teeth are the last set to erupt during late adolescence or early adulthood. However, these do not have enough room to push through the gumline, which is why they often result in impaction. If this were to happen, it can cause increasing discomfort.
Long ago, wisdom teeth were necessary for early humans because of the course diets they followed. Over time, the changes in the formation and development of facial structure no longer made this third set of molars essential. For that reason alone, wisdom teeth extraction has become a standard procedure for most people.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
It is often recommended that wisdom teeth be removed for the following reasons:
- They are impacted and causing pain and/or a shift in your healthy teeth, resulting in overcrowding or another orthodontic problem
- They are partially erupted and making it difficult to brush and floss effectively, leading to problems associated with gum disease
- A cyst or tumor is forming inside the jaw near the wisdom tooth. If left untreated, it can cause serious damage to the bone and nearby teeth.
After a meeting with one of our skilled dentists, they will determine if it is appropriate to remove your wisdom teeth.
What to Expect from the Procedure
When we've discussed all other possibilities and you've decided on wisdom teeth extraction, we'll take every step to help you. Your well-being always takes priority in any treatment decision. Some patients prefer sedation to help with oral surgery, and we can review these options in your treatment plan. You can trust we take every measure to make sure even minor surgical procedures are as comfortable as possible.
Some teeth are removed more easily than others, but the ProSmiles Dental team takes pride in helping every patient get numb with modern anesthetics to start every procedure. Once anesthesia settles in, our oral surgeon uses specialized instruments to elevate the tooth out of place. You will receive specific post-operative instructions to help you care for the extraction area after your procedure, with prescriptions for any medications needed during the healing period.
While our immediate concern is the short-term management of your care, we will also discuss your long-term plans for replacing missing teeth. Leaving a space is always an option, but spaces in your smile can create appearance concerns and functional challenges that are important to consider. Teeth are likely to slowly shift or migrate into open spaces, and minimizing the effects of an unbalanced bite can prevent issues later in life.
Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Extraction
While recovering from wisdom tooth extraction is different for every patient, the typical recovery period for this procedure is 7-10 days. This may be shorter or longer depending on the number of wisdom teeth you have removed at one time. It is normal for a dentist to remove all four during one appointment; however, there may be instances where a dental professional believes it is best to only remove one or two. The important thing to remember is to get plenty of rest, avoid hard foods in the first few days, and be gentle when brushing and caring for your smile while healing at home.