These days, getting your wisdom teeth out is seen as almost a rite of passage. Many people get their wisdom teeth out as a teenager or in their early 20’s. Have you ever wondered why that is? Maybe your dentist recently recommended you remove your wisdom teeth but you’re not unsure of the reason behind the suggestion. Read on to discover if and why removing your wisdom teeth may be a good choice for you.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are molars that most people get in their late teens to early twenties. You usually have four wisdom teeth - one in each corner of the mouth - but sometimes you may miss a few. Typically, since they are the last molars to erupt, they can affect teeth alignment and cause problems later on down the line.
Wisdom Teeth Concerns
If wisdom teeth come in misaligned, they can cause several concerning problems. The first is that they crowd and damage the existing teeth. They can also damage or hurt the nerves and jawbone. If your teeth are already overcrowded, this can lead to further issues including more extensive orthodontic work.
Some people experience wisdom tooth impaction, which is when a tooth only partially erupts out of the gums. This leaves you susceptible to infections and gum disease as well as causing pain and inflammation. If you wait until the jawbone is fully developed around age 40, the removal and recovery removal process is more difficult.
What's the Process?
Wisdom teeth removal is a form of oral surgery. The actual procedure typically takes less than an hour and you can decide on several options for anesthesia. These include IV sedation, local or general anesthesia. It depends on your preferences and comfort level. With general anesthesia, you are asleep the entire time. Local anesthesia involves a numbing agent like Novocain or lidocaine, and you are awake during the procedure.
After the procedure, the recovery process depends on a few factors. If your dentist had to remove some of the gum or bone to remove your wisdom teeth, you may experience some pain and swelling. It’s important to keep in mind that your mouth will need time to heal, so take care of yourself. Eat soft foods for a few days after surgery, and don’t be afraid to use ice or take anti-inflammatory medicine to combat any swelling or pain.
Call Ascent Dental Care for Expert Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Want to learn your options or get a recommendation about whether or not to get your wisdom teeth removed? Call or request an appointment with us at Ascent Dental Care.