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What to Expect When Saying Goodbye to Your Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth aren’t as “wise” as you may think. The name comes from the fact that they come in when you’re between the ages of 18 and 24, when people are coming of age. While these molars in the back of your mouth used to be useful when humans had wider jaws, our evolution has rendered wisdom teeth useless.  

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Advanced Dental Implants, our doctors are here to cover all of your general and cosmetic dentistry needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to wisdom tooth extractions

Extraction as prevention

Extracting your wisdom teeth may be a preventive measure. This is the case when your wisdom teeth don’t emerge or if they only emerge partially. In this case, you may end up with a bacterial infection, a cyst, and progressive damage to your gums and bones.

Wisdom teeth are also difficult to brush and floss. This proves challenging when it comes to taking care of them and places you at risk for developing problems like tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. 

Problems that can arise

Your teeth may also overcrowd your mouth, leaving your smile misaligned. For these reasons, it’s recommended that you consider wisdom tooth extraction as a preventive measure before these issues unfold. 

Ignoring a bacterial infection can prove hazardous, as the infection can spread to your other teeth, your jawbone, and other areas of your body. This can lead to inflammation, bleeding gums, and other complications. Waiting can also be a problem, as the longer you wait, the worse these problems become.  

Sometimes you can keep your wisdom teeth

Most people find that it’s best to have their wisdom teeth removed by the time they turn 25. It’s best to remove your wisdom teeth at this point because your teeth’s roots aren’t as developed and your jawbone is less dense. This makes the entire extraction process far easier.

In some cases you won’t need an extraction. This is the case when your molars appear to be:

Because it can be hard for you to determine this on your own, and because routine exams by your dentist are important, your dentist should determine if your wisdom teeth need extraction. 

The extraction process

We extract your wisdom teeth in an outpatient setting, under general anesthesia, so that you’re as comfortable and pain-free as possible. We remove your wisdom teeth and sew up your gums only after you’ve fallen asleep. 

The whole process takes approximately an hour and a half. And, we do give you pain medication afterward to minimize any discomfort you may experience. You will need to avoid eating and drinking before your surgery. You should also rest for a day or two after surgery, and avoid driving while taking any prescribed pain medications. 

If you do end up keeping your wisdom teeth, you’ll need close monitoring via exams, professional cleanings, and X-rays to ensure that any indications of problems are caught early. To make an appointment call us or book a time slot right on our calendar today. 

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