Many patients ask us when is the right time to remove their wisdom teeth. The right time varies from person to person, but we generally recommend that patients remove them between ages 18 to 24. This age range is ideal because the teeth have settled into their permanent positions, but the jaw is still malleable to undergo the procedure. This post will discuss wisdom teeth removal and the recovery process.
What is a Wisdom Tooth?
A wisdom tooth is a common name for the teeth that sit in the far back corners of your mouth. By dentists, they are called third molars. These teeth do not serve a purpose and can often become impacted. When impaction occurs, the tooth does not erupt and grows sideways. An impacted tooth can cause pain for many patients, leading to teeth removal. Even if you don’t have pain, you may have an impacted or problematic wisdom tooth growing. The best way to learn more about your wisdom teeth is to visit Stoker Family Dental for a consultation.
What is the Wisdom Teeth Removal Process?
The process of removing wisdom teeth may vary slightly depending on how your wisdom teeth have grown into your gums. Before the procedure begins, we will make sure you are comfortable. We will give you sedation medication to put you at ease. Then, we will numb the area. You may feel slight pressure, but you should not feel pain. The next step is to expose the tooth by removing the tissue above the tooth. Once the tooth is exposed, Dr. Stoker can loosen the tooth and remove it. Lastly, Dr. Stoker will close the area with a few stitches.
What is the Wisdom Tooth Recovery Process?
Once we complete the surgery, Dr. Stoker will wake you up from the sedation. It may take a little while to feel completely coherent. Your designated driver will take you home following the procedure. You should take off the first day or two following your procedure to rest. Sometimes it can take up to two weeks to recover from wisdom tooth surgery. Here are a few things you should do immediately after the surgery.
Ice and Heat the Area. After surgery, you may notice some swelling around your cheek area. To minimize the swelling following the surgery, ice the area. You can also add heat to the site by warming up a washcloth and placing it on your cheek.
Do not Drink from a Straw. After your surgery, a clot will form where the tooth was extracted in the early stages. It is essential to keep this clot intact. If the clot breaks, you can get a painful complication called dry sockets. This compilation requires Dr. Stoker’s help right away. One way to keep the clot intact is to avoid drinking through straws.
Take Pain Medication as Needed. If you are in pain following the dental procedure, it is okay to take prescribed pain medication from Dr. Stoker. If the pain is uncontrollable with the medication given, please call our office.
Eat Soft Foods. Another way to prevent the clot from breaking is to eat soft food for the first few days—eating hard food such as chips can put the clot in jeopardy of breaking and causing complications.
We recommend that many of our patients remove their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can cause pain, discomfort, and several problems from teenagers to adults. At Stoker Family Dental, we support our patients following dental surgery. If you have any questions, please call us. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth removal or schedule an appointment.