While wisdom teeth may have served an important role in the mouths of our ancestors, their development often causes issues for modern humans. Wisdom teeth develop after all of the other permanent teeth have settled into position, forming beneath the gums behind our back molars in our teen and early twenties. Sometimes they emerge from the gums without a problem. Other times, the eruption of wisdom teeth can cause damage to the surrounding teeth and invite the bacteria that cause infection. As a result, it is often advised that young adults have their wisdom teeth removed before the teeth push their way through the gums.
In younger patients, the root of the tooth has not formed and attached, making it easier to remove. Wisdom teeth continue to grow into adulthood and take root in the jaw, making the extraction of the tooth more painful if delayed into the patients late 20’s or later.
The wisdom teeth removal procedure takes place in several parts. An x-ray is taken of your mouth that shows the placement of your wisdom teeth. For wisdom teeth that have not emerged, the x-rays will show whether the teeth are impacted. Teeth that are impacted are located below the gum and a thin layer of the bone. While normal wisdom teeth can be removed with the relative ease of a standard tooth extraction, impacted teeth are removed one piece at a time after the portion of bone that is covering the tooth has been removed.
The day of the procedure, the area around the teeth will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Should you desire, Putnam Dental Associates also offers other Sedation options to relieve any anxiety you may have, or may otherwise feel during the extraction procedure. Once the wisdom teeth have been removed, we will close the gums.
You may experience swelling, pain and some bleeding after the procedure – This is completely normal and will subside after a few days. An over-the-counter pain reliever will help you cope with the pain, and ice packs will help reduce any swelling you may have.
After 24 hours, a warm saltwater rinse after meals may help stimulate the healing process. You should continue to brush your teeth as usual during this time.
Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure, and Putnam Dental Associates will ensure that your comfort and safety is our top priority.