Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed? The biggest reason wisdom teeth need to be extracted is once they come in, they can cause a number of dental problems. Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that come in sometime during early adulthood. We don’t need our wisdom teeth, and they serve no purpose. While it will vary for everyone, wisdom teeth extraction is usually recommended to preserve future oral health. Below is more information about why wisdom tooth extraction is necessary and what steps are involved in the procedure.

Why is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?
While the timing will vary for everyone, wisdom teeth usually come in sometime between the ages of 17 and 25. Once they come in, wisdom teeth can start causing dental issues almost immediately. Common dental issues caused by wisdom teeth are:
* Impacted wisdom teeth: wisdom teeth can become impacted, meaning they are trapped within the gums. Wisdom teeth that are impacted can be painful, cause damage to other teeth, or lead to an infection.
* Shifting or damage to nearby teeth: sometimes there is not enough room in the mouth for the large wisdom teeth to grown in without causing shifting or damage to nearby teeth. Extraction is necessary before shifting or damage becomes severe.
* Overcrowding: even if they don’t cause damage to other teeth, large wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding in the mouth, which can impact bite.
* Difficult to reach: due to their placement in the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth can be difficult to reach during daily brushing and flossing. Not being able to reach wisdom teeth with brushing and flossing means they are not being kept clean and will likely lead to cavities or tooth decay.

The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
In the United States, the wisdom teeth extraction procedure is very common among young adults. Here are the common steps in the procedure:
* Pre-procedure: prior to the procedure, it is common to have an appointment with the dentist or oral surgeon to discuss the procedure. This appointment usually involves one last comprehensive exam and a review of scans to plan the treatment approach.
* The procedure: The length of the procedure will really depend on each individual’s wisdom teeth and the number of teeth that need to be extracted. However, an average extraction procedure takes approximately 45 minutes. For most patients, extraction is performed by an oral surgeon. First anesthesia is administered to help reduce discomfort. After the anesthesia has kicked in, the surgeon will begin to extract the teeth. The extraction may require more work if the wisdom teeth are either partially or fully impacted. After the teeth are removed the surgeon will close the wounds with stiches to ensure they heal properly.
* Post-surgery: Most surgeons will recommend their patients have assistance to get home after the procedure. Additionally, the surgeon will have post-surgery instructions and tips on how to manage pain, what food should be avoided, and how to keep the mouth clean to ensure a quick recovery.