Wisdom teeth are the four molars in the farthest corners of your mouth that tend to emerge in your early adult years. If your mouth has enough space, the teeth can stay. If they crowd your adjacent teeth, you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Most people cannot need to have their wisdom teeth extracted before they erupt fully. Not only does it help prevent crowding other teeth, but it can also decrease the risk of developing gum disease or an infection in your sinus cavity.
After taking x-rays, the dental team will determine if you need extraction. If the dentist recommends extraction, you will need to come back to the office at a later date for extraction.
Generally, the process involves numbing the extraction site with a local anesthetic and pulling the tooth. If the teeth are only partially grown in or haven’t grown in, surgery is required to cut open the gums and remove the tooth. At that point, the dentist will place stitches. Cotton gauze is placed over the site to help stop the bleeding after the procedure. Patients will be given oral or laughing gas sedation to ensure they are as comfortable as possible during the tooth extraction.
There are various reasons why someone might need a wisdom tooth extraction. The following symptoms are a sign that we need to remove wisdom teeth:
Lack of space in the mouth or jawbone to accommodate the teeth.
Painful inflammation, swelling or tooth decay from an inability to brush or floss the teeth properly.
The recovery time varies, but most patients find it takes approximately 10 days to heal after the procedure. To avoid disrupting the process, patients should not consume hot drinks or soups, hard foods, or drink through straws during these few weeks.
The aforementioned foods and activities can create a high risk of dislodging the blood clot that has formed in the socket where the tooth used to be. The loss of this blood clot is known as dry socket.
To relieve pain and swelling during the healing process, patients can ice each side of the face for 10 minutes at a time, in addition to taking pain medications. Reach out to a dentist at our Stoney Creek office to discuss any concerns.