If you haven’t gotten your wisdom teeth out yet, then you have many things to consider.
Fortunately for you, Skyline Dental specializes in wisdom teeth removal so you’ll be in good hands throughout the whole process.
It’s important we help you stay aware and comfortable as you make such an important and potentially life-saving decision.
Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth.
They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties, but may become impacted (meaning they fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain.
Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties due to potential complications later on in life.
Why should wisdom teeth be removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen.
Simply put, there isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth because our jaws don’t grow to be big enough to have enough space for them to come in. Since there isn’t enough room for them to erupt properly, wisdom teeth tend to come in at an angle or they don’t fully emerge, which causes problems for the rest of the mouth.
Third molars (the wisdom teeth) routinely damage the teeth right next door, called second molars. Dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth before they become a problem and to avoid a more complicated surgery.
The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.
What happens if I don’t have them removed?
The reason we remove wisdom teeth is to prevent them from damaging other healthy teeth.
Often, wisdom teeth erupt perpendicularly to the teeth next door (your second molars). When wisdom teeth come in sideways like this, it throws off your bite, creates an area where food gets caught, decays both of the teeth, and can even cause a painful infection.
Therefore, skipping the surgery today can cause complications and issues down the road.
More about the process to remove a wisdom tooth at Skyline
In order to remove a wisdom tooth, we at Skyline Dental first numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and partially or fully covered with bone, we will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth.
To minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, we will often “section” your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.
Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. Dr. Olson will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.
What’s new with wisdom tooth removal?
A growing number of patients choose to be sedated during the extraction of their wisdom teeth. At Skyline Dentistry, we strongly recommend sedation and offer safe choices of sedation in-office, including general anesthesia, to make the experience more comfortable for our patients.
How long will the recovery time be after my wisdom teeth removal?
Typically about one week. Occasionally, it’ll take as short as four days to recover for straightforward surgery cases. Your recovery time will depend on:
- What type of anesthesia you choose: You’ll be able to bounce back a lot faster if you have just local anesthesia or nitrous than if you have to go under.
- Your nutrition during recovery: In just about every case, we see people who have a straight diet of Jell-O and ice cream recover more slowly.
- Preventing a dry socket: A lot of people delay recovery several weeks by not following proper protocol after the surgery—including using a straw, not keeping the head elevated, or brushing their teeth too soon after surgery.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.
If you or someone you know needs a wisdom tooth (or several!) removed, please contact us and we’ll schedule an appointment to review your options.
Or, click here to go back and review other dental services our full-service practice offers.