Frequently Asked Questions About Wisdom Teeth

 

 

What are wisdom teeth? 

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop and appear in your mouth. They come in between the ages of 17 and 25.  wisdom1

Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed? 

When your jaw is too small to accommodate normal wisdom teeth, gum or jaw discomfort and swelling often occur. In addition, there is a greater risk of developing gum disease . Your dentist will recommend extraction of your wisdom teeth if  there is:

•infections and/or periodontal disease

•cavities that cannot be restored

•pathologies such as cysts and tumors

•damage to neighboring teeth

wisdom3If I am not in pain do I have to worry about my wisdom teeth? 

Just because you don’t feel any pain does not mean that you are disease or problem free. In fact, wisdom teeth that come in normally may still be prone to disease and problems.

Does my age affect having my wisdom teeth removed? 

Wisdom teeth are easier to remove when the patient is younger, since their roots are not completely formed, the surrounding bone is softer, and there is less chance of damaging nearby nerves or other structures. Removal of wisdom teeth at a later age becomes more complicated as the roots have fully developed (may involve the nerve), and the jawbone is denser.

wisdom2

What happens if I need surgery?

Your Dentist will discuss the procedure with you and tell you what to expect. Always let your doctor know about any illness you have and medications you are taking. There are several conditions that affect how easy it will be to remove a wisdom tooth. These conditions include how the tooth is positioned and the stage of root development. If the wisdom teeth are impacted the surgery might be more complicated.

What can I expect after surgery? 

Following surgery, you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort, which are part of the normal healing process. Cold compresses may help decrease the swelling, and medication prescribed by your doctor can help manage the discomfort. You may be instructed to modify your diet following surgery and later progress to more normal foods.

 

The way to ensure a speedy and healthy recovery is to follow your doctors instructions!
wisdom4

Wisdom Teeth Consultation Form

 * Information taken from  the The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) http://www.aaoms.org/conditions-and-treatments/wisdom-teeth/

Tips for Speedy Recovery

In some cases, wisdom teeth removal is an easy process if they grow in straight and are fully erupted.  Then it’s just a matter of pulling them like any other tooth.  Unfortunately, wisdom teeth often grow in at an angle or never fully erupt.  They may not fit into an already crowded jaw and they could become impacted as a result. 

In such cases, oral surgery is required to remove them, and this could lead to a lengthy recovery.  The good news is, you can take steps to speed the recovery process.  You’ll want to prepare by scheduling at least a few days to rest, and make sure to keep your head elevated to reduce discomfort and swelling.  Icing the first day will also help to minimize inflammation.

Make sure to stock up on soft foods and avoid straws for several days to ensure that a proper clot forms over the socket – this is the best way to promote rapid healing.  When you’re able to clean around the area, do so gently to avoid reopening the wound.  With these tips in mind and detailed instructions from the specialists at StarWhite Dental, you’re sure to enjoy speedy recovery following wisdom teeth removal.