Wisdom teeth are your third molars that erupt around 16 to 20 years old. Sometimes, there isn’t enough room in your mouth for these teeth, and they may need to be extracted before they cause issues to your oral health. Wisdom teeth that do not erupt properly and become stuck in the gums are referred to as impacted teeth. Tooth impaction can lead to pain, swelling, infection, shifting of other teeth and even cavities on your second molars.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
Your wisdom teeth can either be extracted by your dentist or by an oral surgeon, while you are awake or asleep. Factors such as the difficulty of the extractions, the level of impaction and the location of the teeth in relation to nerves and blood vessels are taken into account before the procedure.
- To start the procedure, you may or may not be sedated
- Your dentist will use various tools to remove your wisdom teeth. These tools will depend on if your wisdom teeth have already erupted into your mouth, or if they are underneath your gums and bone either fully or partially.
- The extraction sites may or may not be stitched.
- You will be given post-op instructions for care and healing
Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
- Reducing your risk of infection
- Reducing your risk of pain and swelling
- Reducing your risk of experiencing shifting and misalignment of the rest of your teeth
- Extracting wisdom teeth is easier and comes with fewer risks when they are not already infected (do it before there’s a problem!)
- Avoiding a wisdom tooth extraction later on in life when it becomes potentially more difficult
- If you start having pain or swelling with your wisdom teeth, see your dentist immediately
- Recovery from wisdom teeth extraction is usually just a few days
- While recovering from wisdom teeth extraction, never smoke or use a straw, the suction can cause issues with healing
- It is often best to remove all of your wisdom teeth at once instead of just 1 or 2 because teeth only function with opposing teeth when it comes to chewing food
- You may not have all four wisdom teeth. It is common for people to be missing 1,2 3 or even all of their wisdom teeth