At some point, nearly everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed. Usually, it’s because there just isn’t enough space for them to come in properly or comfortably. Since wisdom teeth can quickly become a problem, most dentists recommend having them removed before an issue occurs. That way, patients can avoid more serious conditions.
While wisdom teeth removal is common, that doesn’t mean everyone knows what to expect. If you or your family members still have their wisdom teeth, here’s what you need to know.
Typical Age Range for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
In most cases, wisdom teeth start to come in or erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. However, since everyone’s progression is different, it is possible for wisdom teeth to erupt at an earlier or later age.
By seeing your Frisco dentist regularly, your dentist can monitor the position of your or your family member’s wisdom teeth. Once they know that they are starting to come in, they can evaluate the situation and make a recommendation regarding treatment.
Signs That Wisdom Teeth Removal is Necessary
The clearest sign that wisdom teeth should be extracted is insufficient room for them to break through. If there isn’t enough space, wisdom teeth can become impacted or stuck. When that occurs, the tooth is more susceptible to decay and disease. Plus, the pressure on the neighboring tooth and surrounding gum tissue and jaw bone can lead to other health problems and conditions, like pain, swelling, and difficulty opening your mouth.
Your Frisco dentist can perform a thorough exam to determine if there is enough room for your wisdom teeth. If not, then they will typically recommend extraction.
An Overview of the Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
The procedure to extract wisdom teeth usually takes about 45 minutes, though it can be longer if your situation is more complex. Before your Frisco dentist begins, you’ll be given anesthesia to ensure that you don’t feel any pain during the extraction. This can be as minor as a local anesthetic or more involved, including full sedation. Your dentist can discuss each of the options and help you decide what is right for you.
Once the anesthesia is working, your dentist will begin the wisdom teeth removal procedure. In most cases, small incisions are made in the gums near each tooth so that they can be accessed. Then, your dentist removes each one. In some cases, a small amount of bone near the root of the wisdom tooth is also taken out.
After the teeth are removed, the sites are thoroughly cleaned to remove any debris. Then, your dentist stitches the incisions closed to promote faster healing. Gauze is placed over the sutures to encourage clotting and control any bleeding.
Your dentist then provides you with aftercare instructions that will promote healing. This includes guidance on what you can and can’t eat or drink, how to clean the area, recommended activity level changes, and pain management techniques.
Most patients only experience a little bit of soreness and swelling after a wisdom tooth extraction, so an over-the-counter pain reliever and some ice packs are typically all it takes to remain comfortable. Bruising may also occur but generally fades after a couple of days.
While wisdom tooth removal may seem scary, it is very common and can help you avoid more serious dental conditions. If you still have your wisdom teeth and haven’t seen a dentist recently, make an appointment with Smiles at Warren Parkway in Frisco today.