Many men and women have trouble with their wisdom teeth. If you’re one of them, the idea of having them removed may send a shudder up your spine. Why do they need to be removed? How are they taken out? What is the recovery process like? Phuong Le, DMD at Le Dentistry & Associate in Norcross, Georgia can answer all your questions. What’s more, we specialize in tooth extractions. So you’re in the best hands possible.
To get you ready, we’re answering some of the most common questions we get about wisdom tooth extractions.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth you get, and they normally show up in your late teens or early 20s. You get a total of four, one on each side at the back of your top jaw and one on each side at the back of your bottom jaw. Some men and women don’t get all their wisdom teeth, and others don’t get any at all.
Why do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
We usually recommend removing your wisdom teeth, because they can cause several dental issues. First, most adults only have room for about 28 teeth. So, if you get all four of your wisdom teeth, increasing the number to 32, it can cause overcrowding or push your teeth out of alignment.
Furthermore, you may have impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that don’t have enough room to come in, so they stay below the surface or only partially come in.
Other dental issues triggered by wisdom teeth can include:
- Gum disease or infection
- Damage to surrounding teeth or bone
Wisdom teeth can also cause fluid-filled sacs to develop near your teeth. These structures can destroy the roots of your teeth or nearby bone and, in rare cases, cause a tumor.
How long does it take to remove wisdom teeth?
The total time for your extraction will depend on how many wisdom teeth we remove and whether they’re visible or impacted. In most cases, extractions take 1-2 hours.
Does removing wisdom teeth hurt?
You don’t have to worry about pain when having your wisdom teeth removed. Depending on your procedure, we might use a local anesthetic to numb the area in addition to using IV sedation or general anesthesia, so you can sleep peacefully throughout your procedure.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
There are several steps to removing a wisdom tooth. First, we remove any gum tissue or bone that may be covering your tooth. Then, we use special instruments to loosen the tooth from its socket and remove it. Sometimes, we may break the tooth into sections to make it easier to remove. After removing your wisdom tooth, we close the area and add stitches if needed.
What is the recovery process like?
After having your wisdom teeth removed, you should spend a day or two resting before engaging in moderate activities. You should wait a week before participating in strenuous activities. You should also wait a week to drink from a straw, spit, or do any other activities that would put too much pressure on the back of your mouth. These activities can affect the healing process and increase your risk of developing painful dental issues, such as dry socket. It can take a few months for the wounds in your mouth to heal completely.
It's normal to have some bleeding the first day as well as some swelling and bruising. It's also common to experience some pain after the local anesthetic wears off. We will provide detailed follow-up care instructions to help minimize any discomfort and swelling. We will also provide pain medications to help control these symptoms.
To learn more about wisdom teeth extractions, book an appointment online or over the phone with Le Dentistry & Associates today.