Wisdom teeth, sometimes referred to as “third molars,” are the last teeth to erupt on each side of the jaws. They usually erupt between the ages of 16 and 25. Since they are the last permanent teeth to erupt, there is often not enough room in the mouth to properly accommodate them. This can lead to aesthetic and oral health complications, especially if the teeth become impacted.
How Necessary Is It to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Some patients may not even develop wisdom teeth, but for those that do, removal is common. Dr. Jordan Argyle, Dr. Jonathan Morgan or Dr. Greg Dover may recommend wisdom teeth removal as a preemptive measure. This can help you avoid future complications, like a more difficult surgery. Most people have wisdom teeth removed for the following reasons:
They are impacted.
- Because of their position in your mouth, they typically do not come in normally. This can cause them to become trapped in your jawbone or gums, which can lead to swelling, tenderness and discomfort.
They erupt at an improper angle.
- After they erupt, your wisdom teeth may press against your other teeth, causing tooth crowding and bite misalignments. They may also damage the adjacent teeth, your second molars.
Your jaw is not large enough.
- Simply put, your jawbone may not be large enough for the third set of molars.
You have difficulties maintaining proper oral hygiene.
- Wisdom teeth are hard to clean with your toothbrush and dental floss. You may develop cavities or gum disease as a result.
During a consultation appointment, we will determine if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed. We will talk about the process and discuss any existing health problems and medications you take on a regular basis.
Removing wisdom teeth can traditionally cause anxiety and concern for patients. At Arrowhead Dental, we can alleviate those concerns by first using 3D imaging to rule out common complications that were previously impossible to accurately diagnose with two-dimensional X-rays. Second, we will go over how we make the procedure comfortable and eliminate anxiety. Lastly, we will go over how to prevent complications and manage recovery.
Tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure; however, the removal of wisdom teeth requires minor surgery. Before the surgery, we will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. We also recommend some form of sedation, usually nitrous oxide or IV sedation.
During the surgery, we will cut your gums (and sometimes bone) to get the teeth out. In some cases, the tooth must be broken into several pieces to be removed. Once the teeth are out, we will suture the incision to foster a quick healing process. The entire procedure usually takes about 45 minutes or less.
The stitches will typically dissolve after a few days. We will stuff gauze pads on the surgical sites to reduce bleeding. Most people have little or no pain after surgery. Swelling and mild discomfort are common for about three days or so. We recommend over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen, to curb discomfort. In some cases, we may prescribe pain medication.
It may take a few weeks for your mouth to completely heal. During this time, we recommend you use an ice pack on your face to reduce swelling. A heating pad can also be used for a sore jaw. Also, be sure to eat soft foods like pasta, rice or soup to avoid disrupting the surgical site. If you develop a fever or experience severe pain, please contact us immediately.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth removal in Evanston, Wyoming, we invite you to call Arrowhead Dental at 307-789-5210 to schedule an appointment with our dentists today!