Get Wise About Wisdom Teeth

Most adults have had the experience of discussing wisdom teeth and maybe even getting them out. But if you haven’t or if you are younger, then you may still be confused about what these are and why you may need to get them out.

Read on for some important information on wisdom teeth to help you and your loved ones understand why they often need to be extracted.  

About Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are simply the last set of molars, and they usually are the last to grow in. They probably exist since way back in the day we needed them to chew food. Typically, they come in when you’re in your teens or twenties.

Wisdom teeth don’t always grow in the wrong way; sometimes they grow in fine, and there’s no pain or anything. But most of the time they come in at an angle, which can harm other teeth and cause serious jaw problems.  

The Assessment

When dentists are deciding if and how to remove your wisdom teeth, they’re going to be looking at a few things. First, they’ll be looking at how far the tooth or teeth have come in (if at all), and how much damage that they could cause or have already caused to your entire mouth.

The main thing that they are looking for is whether the tooth is impacted or not. This condition means that the teeth can’t come through the gum because there is another tooth in the way. The teeth may be “stuck” under another in a variety of positions (for instance, at an angle or even sideways) and if so this will determine pain levels.

The Extraction Process

When one or more wisdom tooth needs to be extracted entirely or is embedded inside the jaw, a dental surgeon will likely use a general anesthetic. But if there is a single tooth that has already emerged, usually a local anesthetic (numbing) will do.

Bear in mind that if your teeth have already grown in, they will be easier to take out and if they haven’t your dentist might want you to wait until they have grown in. This process can cause pain, after all, they are breaking through the skin. However, if the dentist has instructed you to wait until they grow in, it’s important that you keep him or her aware of any worsening pain.   

Recovery

After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Any post-surgery recovery will vary from person to person, depending on factors like:

  • Age and health
  • Overall sensitivity to pain
  • Type of anesthetic used
  • Kind of extraction

It typically will only take a week or two to recover from this type of surgery, but in severe cases, it could take longer.

The most important thing to consider during recovery is that you carefully follow your dentist’s instructions about eating, drinking, and a medication schedule. You will want to avoid making the area worse with drinks or even pressure or suction — basically, you will need to leave it alone at all costs.  

Sometimes dissolving stitches are used, but if not, they’re typically removed in about a week. In any case, your dentist will schedule a follow-up visit to ensure that your incisions are healing well.  

Do you have more questions about wisdom tooth extraction for yourself or your kids? If so, contact a professional dentist in Nashua for more information.

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