In years past, dentists and oral surgeons often recommended that every patient have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent future problems. Dentists now believe that normal wisdom teeth not prone to causing problems can be left alone. However, wisdom teeth that may develop future issues may need preventative removal.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third molars. If wisdom teeth emerge, they typically do so in the late teens to early adulthood, hence the name. In most patients, they never fully erupt into the mouth to become functional molars.
Reasons Why Wisdom Teeth May Need Removal
Wisdom Teeth May Be Impacted
An impacted tooth cannot erupt into the mouth due to its position or crowding. It may lie on its side or at an angle, making it impossible to emerge correctly.
Wisdom Teeth May Easily Become Infected
Wisdom teeth sometimes erupt and subside back into the gum, leaving a major opportunity for an infection to set in.
Wisdom Teeth May Cause Orthodontic Problems
Wisdom teeth exert pressure on their neighbors, especially when they have insufficient room to erupt. They can push other teeth around, causing bite issues. They can also make other teeth too crowded, leading to more gum disease and tooth decay.
Surgery Becomes More Difficult With Age
While you may want to put off surgery until your wisdom teeth pose a problem, strongly consider having them removed during the late teen to early adult years. Patients in their thirties, forties, and beyond have a much more difficult time recovering from wisdom teeth surgery than younger patients. If your dentist spots a potential problem, it makes sense to correct it while the surgery poses fewer complications.
The Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
Wisdom teeth extraction is usually a simple surgery. You will receive local anesthetics so you will not feel pain. Rio Grande Oral Surgery offers general anesthesia and IV sedation as comfort options.
The oral surgeon creates an incision in the gum tissue, removing the bone over the tooth if it is present. The surgeon then uses special tools to pull it out. You will likely require sutures after the procedure to help with healing.
Healing From Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Wisdom teeth surgery is usually well-tolerated. You may have some bleeding, swelling, and bruising, but these will resolve in a few days. We may provide prescription pain medication or antibiotics. Please follow our post-surgical instructions to speed up your healing process.
Remember that if you have wisdom teeth surgery earlier, you will recover more quickly. You may have slower healing times and experience more swelling and bruising if you wait until your wisdom teeth cause a problem.
Call Rio Grande Oral Surgery
If you need to know whether your wisdom teeth should come out, please call our Albuquerque, NM office at 505-821-2111. We can evaluate you or your child and provide our treatment recommendations to keep your teeth healthy and strong.