Many people have memories of pain and discomfort during recovery after getting their wisdom teeth removed, and those memories probably also include drinking many smoothies while they waited for their mouths to heal.
Wisdom teeth removal seems like a rite of passage, but is it always needed? We’ll explore more here.
The expert dental team at Expressions in Dentistry provides their own wise counseling when it comes to removing wisdom teeth — and many other dental services, from routine care to implants and orthodontic treatment with InvisalignⓇ. We customize your treatment plan only after assessing your situation and discussing your goals with you, so you can trust that you’re in the best hands here.
The facts about wisdom teeth
Your wisdom teeth, or third molars, don’t make an appearance typically until you’re in early adulthood, but when they do, you often know it. The eruption process of these four teeth can be quite painful.
You may be one of the lucky ones whose wisdom teeth never end up erupting, or they may come in with little difficulty or effect on your other teeth. Frequently though, they have the potential to cause discomfort and even create alignment problems because of making your existing teeth shift so that your mouth can accommodate them.
An impacted wisdom tooth is one that gets stuck below your gums. When this happens, the tooth tries to come in but may end up positioned at a strange angle, facing forward or backward in your mouth, or it may even lie flat.
This makes it hard to clean the tooth properly and puts you at risk for decay. When your wisdom teeth are impacted, these challenges make it hard for them to develop normally, and they often become infected.
Can I ignore my wisdom teeth if they aren’t giving me problems now?
We don’t advise it. Every adult’s wisdom teeth scenario is different, but it’s smart to get evaluated by your dentist whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not.
If your wisdom teeth aren’t causing obvious symptoms, it doesn’t mean that trouble still couldn’t be brewing. We touched upon problems that develop when they’re impacted, but other issues can arise, too:
- Adjoining teeth can sustain damage from impacted wisdom teeth
- Cysts sometimes develop around wisdom teeth, causing nerve and jaw damage
- Sinus pressure and congestion may develop
- Crowding can lead to the need for orthodontic treatment
- Gum inflammation increases the chances of decay and infection
It may seem premature or even a bit alarmist if you’re feeling no pain and your dentist recommends wisdom teeth removal, but it is these complications, down the line, that will be avoided by taking care of your wisdom teeth now.
Additionally, the sooner you address wisdom teeth extraction, the better. This is because the older you get, the harder the bones in your mouth become, making wisdom teeth removal more difficult and complicated. Numbness, excessive bleeding, and limited jaw movement can all occur.
I’m nervous about having my wisdom teeth removed!
It’s only natural, but rest assured that your comfort is our top priority. Since wisdom teeth removal is so routinely performed, your dentist has extensive experience with it and has gained mastery in preparing you for the procedure, completing it, and guiding you through recovery.
We review your sedation options with you, and you receive either local or general anesthesia, when you’re unconscious. Whatever sedation and anesthesia you choose, you don’t feel pain.
To remove your wisdom teeth, your dentist creates a small incision in your gums to expose the teeth. They decide whether to remove each tooth piece by piece or in its entirety. It makes the most sense, by the way, to have all your wisdom teeth removed at the same time, since your dentist is in there anyway. After cleaning the spot and sealing it with sutures, you’re done!
You’ll need a driver to take you home to rest and heal after the procedure. You can also expect some residual tenderness, swelling, and minor bleeding for a few days afterward. Your mouth heals amazingly, however, and you can expect your symptoms to abate quickly.
Don’t worry about your wisdom teeth any longer. Call our office at 916-252-9186 to schedule a consultation today, or book an appointment with us online. For your convenience, we offer early morning appointments, openings after 5 pm, and we’re open on Saturdays.