When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Having their wisdom teeth removed is something that most people can expect to do to preserve the well-being of their smile and prevent annoying symptoms, such as pain. If you haven’t already had your wisdom teeth extracted, it’s worth discussing the process with your dentist. At Walnut Creek Dental East, Dr. Pappas and his friendly team want to ensure that your wisdom teeth removal goes as smoothly and comfortably as possible. Here’s what you should know about the extraction process, including when the best time to do so is, before scheduling a consultation at our convenient Groveport office location.
Wisdom Teeth Overview
Wisdom teeth are four molars located in the very back of your mouth. In most cases, wisdom teeth are thought to be no longer necessary due to evolution, which has contributed to people’s jaws being smaller than they once were.
Why Does Someone Need to Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Because the mouths of modern individuals aren’t large enough to support wisdom teeth, they can cause an array of complications when they erupt. In most cases, wisdom teeth are positioned to come in crooked or sideways, which can cause serious oral health problems and pain, and are removed as a preventative measure. It’s estimated that as many as 85% of people will have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent this.
There’s no “right” age to have your wisdom teeth extracted. However, wisdom tooth removal is less likely in younger patients and more common for young adults. If someone is experiencing problems because of an impacted wisdom tooth, such as severe pain, they should have them removed. The roots of the wisdom teeth need to be at least two-thirds of the way developed before being extracted. Most people generally have their wisdom teeth removed between 18 and 24. The best way to know if you need the removal of wisdom teeth is to consult a dental professional during an oral examination.
What is the Process of Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?
Before your wisdom teeth extraction, you will be given general anesthesia to remain comfortable and pain-free throughout the dental procedure. Once completely sedated, the dentist will cut through your gum tissue to expose the wisdom teeth and jawbone. After removing the wisdom teeth and surrounding bone, the area is cleaned and closed with dissolvable stitches. Once you’ve woken up from the anesthesia, you can go home and rest.
While having your wisdom teeth removed is an outpatient procedure, someone will need to drive you home since you’ll be groggy for a few hours after taking the sedative. In the first 24 hours after your surgery, pain, swelling, and light bleeding are normal. The swelling and discomfort can be managed with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication. It’s best to eat soft foods for the first few days after your procedure until your mouth heals, then slowly introduce normal foods. Likewise, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and using a straw should be avoided until your incisions have fully healed.
Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment with Walnut Creek Dental East
If you’re experiencing pain due to wisdom teeth trying to emerge or have never had your wisdom teeth removed and are concerned about potential problems, the trusted team at Walnut Creek Dental East is here to help. We can help protect your oral health by removing your wisdom teeth quickly and comfortably. As a professional office, we are here to help with your dental care and treatment plan and provide any necessary health information. To learn more about wisdom tooth extraction and its benefits, schedule your next appointment with us today. We look forward to showing you how simple maintaining a healthy smile for life can be!
Michael Pappas, DDS, MBA
Dr. Michael Pappas, a distinguished Ohio-based dentist and owner of two local practices, is recognized for his commitment to providing modern, comprehensive dental care rooted in a patient-focused approach. An Ohio State University alumnus, he holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and an MBA, and his ongoing pursuit of continuing education enables him to bring the latest in dental advancements to his patients. When not engaged in his profession or serving in leadership roles within dental organizations, Dr. Pappas is an active community member who enjoys physical activities and the companionship of his therapy dog, Roscoe.