Did you know that 98% of the population gets their wisdom teeth? Put another way, only 2 lucky people out of every 100 don’t need wisdom teeth removal, but the odds are that you aren’t one of them! If you’ve been told that you need this oral surgery procedure, it’s not uncommon to have questions and wonder what you can expect afterward. Keep reading for more information and find out why having your wisdom teeth taken out is so important to your long-term oral health!
When Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?
Dentists refer to wisdom teeth as “third molars.” The first molars come in about age 6, followed by the second molars at around age 12.
The wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to erupt around age 18, although the range is between age 14-22. That’s why a panoramic X-ray is usually recommended at 15 to monitor the development of these teeth.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Taken Out?
Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing problems now, the chances are good that they will down the road, so it’s a proactive step that prevents bigger problems later. Also, the younger you are when they’re taken out, the easier the healing and recovery process will be.
Here are some other common reasons to get wisdom teeth removal in Frisco:
- Hygiene – Since they’re so far back, wisdom teeth are very difficult to access with a toothbrush and floss, so they collect plaque, tartar and bacteria that lead to cavities and severe gum problems.
- Impaction – In many cases, a wisdom tooth will only partially erupt, leaving a “flap” of gum tissue that creates a deep pocket. Bacteria gets lodged in this area, which can cause a serious infection.
- Lack of space – At one time in human history, the jaws were bigger so that people could chew tough meat and fibrous foods. As time went on, people’s jaws became significantly smaller and most can no longer accommodate wisdom teeth.
What Can You Expect Afterward?
Although there’s a range of symptoms you can have after your procedure, here are some common things that people experience:
- You can expect mild to moderate pain for several days (depending on how impacted the teeth were), but your dentist will give you the right pain medication to alleviate it.
- Swelling is normal and typically lasts 2-3 days.
- Some bleeding from the area is also normal, and you’ll be given clean gauze to gently bite down to apply pressure to the area.
- It’s a good idea to consume a liquid diet (lukewarm thin soup and broth, smoothies, etc.), but be sure to avoid using a straw.
Also, it’s important to keep your mouth clean, so continue brushing the rest of your teeth twice a day. Your dentist may give you a syringe to gently flush the extraction sites themselves.
Be sure to follow all the instructions your dentist gives you to minimize the risk of dry socket (which is a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot is dislodged from the extraction site). If dry socket does occur, it usually happens 3-4 days later, but a dentist can treat it by placing a medicated dressing in the socket.
Remember, you’ll only have to have your wisdom teeth taken out once, but it will benefit your oral health for the rest of your life!
About the Author
Dr. Paresh B. Patel is an award-winning general, restorative and cosmetic dentist in Frisco who is dedicated to providing his community with outstanding comprehensive dental care, including oral surgery. He knows that many patients are apprehensive about their wisdom teeth and provides gentle and compassionate care through every step of the process. We have won the Best Family Dentist and Best Cosmetic Dentist in Living Magazine by our patients in Frisco and Plano in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, Dr. Patel, amongst peers, won Best Dentist in DFW by D Magazine. If you have any other questions about wisdom teeth, he can be reached via his website or at (469) 362-3150.