Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically come in for young people between 17 and 25 years of age. While not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, it is necessary or at least recommended for many. Are you considering having your wisdom teeth removed? You should know a few things.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
For some, wisdom teeth just emerge and behave themselves. For others, wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems, including:
- Crowding: Your mouth may not have enough room to accommodate the extra teeth, which can cause overcrowding and shifting of your other teeth.
- Impaction: Wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they do not fully emerge from the gums. The result is pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Decay: Wisdom teeth are located at the back of your mouth and are often difficult to clean properly. Decay and gum disease naturally follow.
- Cysts or tumors: In rare cases, cysts or tumors can form around the wisdom teeth, damaging the surrounding teeth and bone.
If you are experiencing any of these issues, your oral surgeon may recommend that you have your wisdom teeth removed.
What to Expect Before the Procedure
Before your wisdom teeth removal, you will meet with your oral surgeon. During this consultation, your surgeon will examine your mouth and take X-rays to determine the next steps. They will also discuss the procedure with you and answer any questions.
If you and your doctor decide that you should have your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll get instructions to prepare for the procedure. This may include avoiding food and drink several hours before the procedure and arranging for someone to drive you home afterward.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The procedure for wisdom teeth removal varies depending on the case’s complexity. You will generally receive a local anesthetic to numb the area around your teeth, and you may also receive sedation to help you relax during the procedure.
Your surgeon will then make incisions in your gums to access your wisdom teeth. If the teeth have fully emerged, the procedure is simple. If your surgeon sees impacted teeth, it is standard to break them into smaller pieces to remove them.
What to Expect After the Procedure
After your wisdom teeth removal, you must rest for a few days to allow your mouth to heal. Your surgeon will give you instructions on how to care for your mouth during this time, which may include:
- Avoiding solid foods for the first few days
- Using ice packs to reduce swelling
- Rinsing your mouth with saltwater
- Taking pain medication as needed
You may also experience discomfort and swelling several days after the procedure. Not to worry. Post-surgical pain is normal, and you can manage your discomfort with medication and rest.
Following your surgeon’s instructions carefully helps ensure a smooth recovery. You should also contact your surgeon if you experience any signs of infection, such as fever, severe pain, or pus.
If you need more information and advice about discomfort you or your child may be feeling, call Fort Worth Oral Surgery today and get the answers you need to make the best decision. Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure that can help prevent a variety of dental problems. Decisive action today can help prevent complications later.
Now that you know what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, we hope you take the next step and contact us today. We welcome questions about wisdom tooth extraction and will put you in the best position for a positive outcome.