When Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?
The wisdom teeth are a set of teeth in the upper and lower jaws that are meant to come out by the early twenties. For many people, this 3rd and last molar does not erupt in the right direction. They may be misaligned or impacted (trapped in the bone). The extraction of such wisdom teeth is advised when
Other teeth begin to push forward due to lack of space
Food accumulation between the 2nd and 3rd molar leads to cavities on both molars
There is persistent pain, swelling, or infection to the gum covering the wisdom tooth (pericoronitis)
How Will My Doctor Decide?
Usually, lower wisdom teeth are more likely to create issues. Mesial or horizontal positioning, where the teeth have not fully erupted, present a high risk for decay. Removing the wisdom tooth can help save the tooth in front.
If the lower wisdom teeth are to be removed, the surgeon may advocate the removal of the upper wisdom teeth on the same side to eliminate the possibility of it over-erupting and rubbing against the inner cheek.
Sometimes impacted wisdom teeth can lead to serious issues, such as cysts or tumors, or cause the rest of the teeth to shift.
What Does The Extraction Procedure Involve?
Wisdom teeth extraction can be simple or surgical. During your consultation, our maxillofacial surgeon will use x-rays to determine the condition of the surrounding bone, and the position of the tooth’s roots beneath the gum line, to decide the type of procedure.
In both cases, local anesthesia is given to make the procedure comfortable and pain-free. After the extraction, small sutures are put in. Gauze is applied to minimize bleeding and help the gums heal quickly.
Some soreness and swelling are normal after surgery, so take the prescribed medications and follow the aftercare instructions. You should be fine within 72 hours, so plan accordingly. If the pain does not ease up within this period, please call us.
Based on x-rays, we can forecast if your wisdom teeth will become an issue. While some patients come with acute symptoms, others may have none at all. Yet, there is a high risk that an issue will develop, especially at inopportune times, such as travel or pregnancy. We will discuss all options with you.