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A Word To The Wise: What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are usually the last molars to grow in through the gum line, and these teeth might not start to give you problems until you've reached adulthood. Wisdom teeth extraction surgery has long been a trusted method for removing these teeth and preventing or resolving the issues that your third molars can cause. Here are some answers to a few questions that you likely have about wisdom teeth so that you can know what to expect with this procedure.

Why is wisdom teeth extraction needed?

Given the placement of wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth, these molars sometimes grow in at angles and should be removed if they become impacted and can't emerge through the gums all the way because of obstructions caused by other teeth. Wisdom teeth that cause any infections should also be removed. Tooth extractions are additionally recommended for wisdom teeth that are decaying or that are causing cysts or tumors to grow.

How is wisdom teeth extraction performed?

Before the procedure begins, a local or general anesthetic will be used to numb any pain. Special instruments are then used to pull the wisdom teeth from their sockets. Wisdom teeth that are particularly large may be broken up into pieces to make extracting them easier. If wisdom teeth still haven't grown in, surgical incisions will be made in the gums to access the molars so that they can be removed before the incisions are closed with sutures.   

If wisdom teeth aren't causing problems, should they still be removed?

You might not have to have your wisdom teeth pulled if they aren't bothering you. However, just because they aren't bothering you now doesn't mean that you'll never have to have them pulled. Your dentist will let you know whether you should have these teeth extracted or not based on your x-rays and any symptoms you might be experiencing. 

What's the recovery period like?

You should expect some soreness after the anesthesia has worn off following your surgery, but pain medication may be prescribed to help minimize your discomfort. You'll also likely be given gauze by your dentist to bite down on and hold in place to control the bleeding. Further instructions will be given to you so that you'll know what you should be doing and what not to do during your recovery so that you don't loosen the blood clots and develop a painful condition known as dry socket. You should be fully healed in a few weeks after surgery.

Many people have to undergo wisdom teeth extraction surgery in their life, and this procedure is even sometimes considered to be a rite of passage into adulthood. Your dentist can tell you more about the tooth extraction procedure and let you know if you're a good candidate.

About Me

Every Dentist Needs Your Help Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

When I was a child and teenager, I always left the dentist's office with the great feeling of having no cavities. When I went away to college out-of-state, I had to switch to a new dentist in my area. It seemed like I was suddenly getting cavities and started wonder what my new dentist "was doing wrong". When I spoke to my mother about it, she reminded me that the reason I never had cavities when I was living it home was because she always made sure my siblings and I brushed and flossed daily and didn't eat too much sugar. I then realized that my late-night study sessions drinking sugary soda and my suddenly bad brushing habits were the true causes of my cavities. I have since learned a lot more about dental health I am eager to share with anyone who needs the advice!

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