Your Dentist Answers Common Questions about Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure. Since many people don’t have large enough jaws to support these extra teeth, these teeth cause more problems as they grow. Our modern diet, which lacks certain nutrients for bone development, has led to humans having smaller jaws than our ancestors. So nowadays, most people’s wisdom teeth will not grow in properly since there is not enough room on their jaws.
If you need your wisdom teeth removed, consider these answers to common questions about the procedure before undergoing the surgery at your local dentist’s office.
Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary?
If your wisdom teeth are impacted—growing at an angle towards your existing teeth instead of straight up—then you should get your wisdom teeth removed to avoid future problems. Most people will have impacted wisdom teeth because they don’t have enough room in their mouths for these teeth to grow properly. If left to grow, impacted wisdom teeth will cause a number of painful and costly dental problems, such as damage to the adjacent teeth and tooth decay.
When Is An Ideal Time For the Extraction?
In terms of tooth development, you should have your wisdom teeth removed before the roots have fully formed. This will make the surgery and recovery easier. You should also plan to have the surgery during a time when you can have a break from school or work, you’re in good health, and your stress levels are low. Also, plan to have someone around to help you after the surgery. They can drive you home, fill your pain medication prescription, bring you food, and make sure you’re comfortable during your recovery.
How Long Can I Wait For the Extraction?
If you need to put off the surgery until you have time off work or school, that’s okay as long as you’re not experiencing pain. When you start feeling pain in your teeth and jaw due to impacted wisdom teeth, you shouldn’t put off the surgery and suffer.
How Long Is the Recovery Time?
While recovery times vary based on individuals, expect to recover within four days to a week. You might think you can head back to work after a few days, but if you can afford to take the time off, do it. You don’t want to be uncomfortable while at work.
Recovery times also vary based on:
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- Type of anesthesia—you will be able to recover faster if you have a local anesthesia or nitrous, instead of a general anesthesia (going under or being unconscious);
- Nutrition during recovery—although eating many foods are difficult during recovery, a diet of Jell-O, pudding, ice cream, and other sugary, non-nutritious foods will likely slow down your recovery time; and,
- Dry socket prevention—if you follow all aftercare instructions, such as keeping your head elevated, and not smoking or using a straw, you can avoid dry sockets. These occur when a blood clot that is necessary for healing won’t form properly or it becomes dislodged from the tooth socket.
Although wisdom teeth removal isn’t something to look forward to, it helps prevent future pain and complications. So speak with your dentist about this procedure, and they will go over everything with you beforehand so you can be fully prepared and have a good, comfortable recovery.