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Everything You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth

Posted in Dental Care, Dental Surgery, Sedation Dentistry, Tooth Extraction, and Wisdom Teeth

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are the 3rd and final set of permanent adult teeth to come in. They appear at the very back of the mouth on the top and bottom behind your second set of molars. They are usually the largest of all your teeth. These 3rd molars are named “wisdom teeth” not because they help you gain wisdom. Rather, they are aptly named after the average age a person usually gets them. On average, wisdom teeth arrive between the ages of 17 and 21 for both men and women. The way they come in, the number of them, and the chances of having issues with them, are all individually unique. While many people have one to four wisdom teeth, some people don’t have any at all. If you are one of those lucky ones, don’t fret, it doesn’t mean that you are abnormal. In fact, it’s estimated that 5% to 37% of people globally are missing 1 or more of their wisdom teeth! Read “Help With Wisdom Teeth.”

Why Are Wisdom Teeth an Issue?

Sometimes wisdom teeth erupt without any immediate issues but many times the argument for removing them outweighs the benefits of their existence. So, what are some situations that require their removal?

  • When they come in crooked or are stuck against an adjacent tooth.
  • When there is not enough room causing crowding
  • When they are in a bad position making cleaning and flossing an impossible challenge.
  • When they are impacted, and future infection is likely
  • Although pain maybe a good indicator for removal wisdom teeth, often erupting may occur without pain but cause damage to adjacent teeth

Erbsville Dental uses digital x-rays to track your 3rd molars early progress and even determine the best timing for their removal if needed. By your mid-late teens, you will know if and how they are growing, and whether they will become a problem or not? Your dentist Dr. Stephen Mathews always looks out for his patient’s best interest, especially if your dental health is involved. Dr. Mathews will make every effort to ensure the procedure itself is as minimally invasive as possible. The two-part goal is to make you as comfortable and pain free as you can be and make your recovery time short. Put simply, your teeth are removed with care, using meticulously planned procedures and techniques. With you involved in the discussion and based on your dentists experience a choice will be made to use either simple local anesthetic or in combination with full sedation. Read “If You Don’t Have Room for Wisdom Teeth?.”

Who Can Help with Wisdom Teeth?

Typically, wisdom teeth are extracted by an oral surgeon who specializes in dental surgery. Upon examination, if extraction of your wisdom teeth is recommended then normally a referral would be made.  At Erbsville dental you will be able to have your extractions done at our clinic with full sedation options. Dr. John McIntosh has joined the Erbsville Dental team. Dr. McIntosh is an oral surgeon specialising in wisdom teeth. In addition, Erbsville Dental has renovated, creating a surgical suite for Dr. McIntosh to work. Whatever the situation, Erbsville Dental is equipped to help with all the diverse wisdom tooth problems. And like every dental procedure performed at Erbsville Dental, every effort is made to make you comfortable and minimize discomfort, swelling and recovery time. Read “What is a Maxillofacial Surgeon?

How do I prepare for Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

It’s a good idea to prepare for your wisdom tooth removal. Preparation can reduce stress if you are worried about the procedure. You can also make the best use of your recovery time if you plan for it. At Erbsville Dental, we believe you can’t be too ready for wisdom tooth surgery. Therefore, here are some ideas to help you prepare.

1) Dr. McIntosh will explain in detail what the procedure will include and what you need to do to prepare and recover. If you don’t understand or miss something, then ask questions. He is more than happy to answer your questions no matter how insignificant you may feal they are.

2) If you have dental insurance, ask how much coverage you have for wisdom tooth removal. It can vary between companies and policies. If you need help, ask Erbsville Dental’s friendly reception staff. It would be a good idea to know ahead of time what you might be paying out of pocket or co-paying with insurance. Just one less thing to worry about.

3) Most people recover from 3rd molar removal in 1-2 days but give yourself a time buffer if possible. Invasiveness of each surgery varies, and people’s ability to handle pain varies. so, plan on 3-4 days to recover and avoid any strenuous activity. Remember to ask a friend to drive you home after the surgery as anesthesia can take 24 hours to leave your system. Read “Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Removal.

Aftercare

In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Painkillers are prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. Take them as directed.

Directly after surgery avoid lying flat. Instead, prop up your head with pillows. This can prevent or slow any bleeding. Also, try and relax. Don’t go straight back to work, you will need time to rest. You can apply pressure to the gauze pads and help stop minor bleeding by gently biting down on the pads. If you still have bleeding after 24 hours you should call Erbsville Dental.

After any dental procedure involving freezing and while your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip, or your tongue. Also, don’t drink anything hot as the potential for a burn is real. You can do a lot of damage without feeling it.

Begin icing as soon as possible once you are home. Place the ice pack on the outside of your cheek. Apply 15 to 20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours to help reduce swelling. Begin on the second day, heating the area gently. This will increase blood flow and help heal the area faster. A cloth soaked in hot water, then thoroughly wrung out, can achieve the soothing warmth that is needed. Read “Wisdom Tooth Removal Aftercare.”

Eating Again

Start eating soft foods to begin with such as soup and pudding, then gradually introduce more solid foods as your mouth heals and to the extent you feel comfortable. But avoid straws early on as creating suction can add pressure and discomfort.

On day two you can gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp of salt in a medium-sized glass (8 oz) of warm water. Remember rinse gently.

Over the years we have written many articles on this subject with extra tips and instructions for those with wisdom tooth problems. Check out some of the links in each section of this post to dig deeper into each related article. For example, read “Foods to Eat After Wisdom Tooth Removal.”