No one looks forward to a wisdom teeth removal procedure. But if you use an experienced oral surgeon and follow all the post-operative instructions, most people do not have any problems. Understanding why you need your wisdom teeth taken out, how the process works, and how to best recover are three things that will help you breeze right through the wisdom tooth extraction.
Why Would Wisdom Teeth Removal Be Necessary?
The reason so many dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal for their teenaged patients is that most people don’t have enough room in their mouths for the wisdom teeth to come in properly. It is less complicated to take them out before the roots and bone are fully formed – recovery is quicker, and there’s no time allowed for the wisdom teeth to wreak havoc on your bite before they’re removed.
You might wonder why there are teeth that exist simply to be removed. Well, a long time ago, before softer, processed foods emerged, we needed those wisdom teeth to mash plant matter effectively. But as our diets have changed, human mouths have gotten smaller over time. The most common reason people have their wisdom teeth removed is simply because there wouldn’t be enough room for them if you let them develop fully. If there’s not enough room, wisdom teeth can cause a range of problems: impaction (they don’t come in all the way), infection, cavities, bone loss, adjacent tooth damage, and cysts. Even if they come in nice and straight, if there’s not enough room, they’ll push around other teeth in the area and create a domino effect that misaligns your bite.
If you don’t opt for wisdom teeth removal when you are young, and then develop problems later, you can still have them taken out – it’s just a little more involved, and recovery is a bit harder. Wisdom teeth that have erupted properly should be watched, but if they are not causing problems, there may be no reason to take them out ever. On the other hand, you might be one of the unlucky souls who have two sets of wisdom teeth, and you might have to go through two separate wisdom tooth removals. It all depends on the individual.
Recovering from a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
In teens and young adults, it usually only takes 4-7 days to recover from wisdom tooth removal. We perform the surgery here in our office at Wilmington Oral Surgery, northeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s worth the drive – someone else is going to have to drive you anyhow, so you might as well pick the best oral surgeon you can find locally.
For your wisdom tooth removal procedure, you’ll have the choice of local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia, and the entire process usually takes less than an hour. Once you wake up from the procedure, we have you stay with us for a half hour or so, just to make sure you’re doing well, and then we send you off with your designated driver. You’re eating ice cream on your couch in no time.
Complications following the wisdom tooth extraction surgery are rare if you follow recovery instructions. The most common complication, dry sockets, can usually be prevented. There are a few rules:
- don’t use a straw,
- don’t smoke or spit,
- keep your head elevated,
- take your pain medications as directed,
- stick to soft foods for a few days, and
- call us immediately if you have any unexpected problems.
Dr. Scott Puckett at Wilmington Oral Surgery has been extracting wisdom teeth for over 20 years, and has consistently had excellent results. He understands the best surgical methods to ensure quick recovery, and his staff knows the best ways to care for our patients and coach them through the process of getting their wisdom teeth out. It might seem scary, but we promise, with us, it’s not. Teen or adult, you’ll be just fine.