Wisdom teeth removal is recommended for kids between the ages of 15 – 20. Why so young? Simple. Majority of us do not have room in our mouths to allow the wisdom teeth to grow in properly. If we know by looking at teeth position in a radiograph, we can decide if those wisdom teeth will need to come out. When you’re younger, you heal much faster and the pain is more tolerable. As we age, we become more sensitive to pain and it takes longer to heal.
So, what are wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth are the molars in the back of your mouth that usually start to come in during your late teens and early 20’s. Sometimes they come in and their removal involves just pulling the teeth. Other times the wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning they can’t emerge through the jaw bone. If that’s the case, surgery is recommended.
I know what you’re thinking, “Surgery! Yikes!” Well, relax. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Recovery usually takes between 3 to 4 days. And isn’t as bad as you may have imagined. Below, we answer some questions we get asked a lot.
Why should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
1) When not removed, wisdom teeth can cause painful headaches
2) As wisdom teeth try to emerge they can knock your other teeth out of alignment
3) Wisdom teeth can erupt part way causing a channel for bacteria to surround the teeth. This can then lead to cavities (decay) on the wisdom teeth or the adjacent teeth.
How will you know if I need to have surgery or not?
1) Before you even get your surgery date, we’ll take x-rays – this helps us determine the right course of action.
2) On the day of your wisdom teeth removal, you’ll be put under mild anesthesia so you won’t feel a thing.
3) We’ll then remove the tooth and once you come out of anesthesia you’ll be on your way home!
What kind of things should I avoid after?
1) Avoid talking, eating and drinking for the first 2 hours after surgery to let the area clot. Our doctor recommends 24 hours of a liquid diet.
2) Stick to only eating soft foods for the next 2 days (ice cream is definitely on the list).
3) Remember, don’t rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for the first 12 hours after the procedure. You can brush your teeth that night but avoid the site of surgery and don’t spit.
4) Rinsing isn’t recommended for the first 48 hours.
5) If the procedure was a little tricky, you’ll be prescribed pain killers – take them as prescribed.
6) If the procedure wasn’t too tricky, you can just use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. 600 mg every 6 hours.
Wisdom teeth removal is a routine procedure now. So, if you’re on the fence about having it done, don’t be. Get them removed and make your mouth happier. After all, the removal of these 4 teeth could help protect your teeth from becoming misaligned and stop your jaw from hurting.
Come see our oral surgeon Dr. Caroline Kacer at OrthoPros for a free evaluation and assessment of your wisdom teeth position. For more information about the process and what to expect, give us a call to schedule a consultation today! Wisdom teeth consultations are FREE for the summer!