What are Wisdom Teeth?
Also known as Third Molars, or "thirds", Wisdom teeth are the four teeth that appear the furthest back in your mouth. They are the last to erupt, usually showing between the ages of 17 and 21. Wisdom teeth are not actually needed for chewing and can cause so many problems. Dentists speculate about their function and many dentists choose to remove them to significantly reduce your risk of bigger problems later.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Some people never have issues with their wisdom teeth while others can experience pain, infection, gum disease, tooth decay, crowding of teeth, and other discomforts. Wisdom teeth are often removed in the late teen years and early 20s before problems occur. At these ages, removal is easier since the roots have not yet solidified in the jaw bone and are easier to remove than in older patients. At older ages, wisdom teeth removal can carry a slightly higher risk of damage to a major nerve in the jaw, as well as longer recovery times from sedation as compared to younger individuals. Extraction may be recommended by your orthodontist at the beginning or end of orthodontic treatment to prevent teeth from shifting and becoming misaligned.
Many problems occur because of the difficulty in reaching so far back in the mouth to clean them. Others come from wisdom teeth that have only partially come in or stay lodged in the gums. Teeth that remain covered by the gums are called "impacted." When wisdom teeth come in there often isn't sufficient space causing crowding and shifting of teeth. If your teeth are giving you pain or discomfort we would advise you to see your dentist and see if wisdom tooth extraction might be right for you. At White Pine Dental in Murray UT, our oral surgeon Dr. Hutchison is highly specialized in wisdom teeth removal procedures and would love to help you with a complimentary consultation. Click here to schedule yours today.
Treatment & Recovery
Problems with wisdom teeth often end in their removal. Depending on the complexity of your procedure, different levels of anesthesia can be used including local anesthesia, sedation, and general anesthesia. The procedure generally takes the following steps. A small cut in the gums is made in order to access the tooth and bone. A small amount of bone is then removed that blocks access to the tooth. Depending on the position of the tooth it can be divided into sections for easier removal and to avoid removing additional bone. The tooth is then removed and the area is cleaned of debris from the tooth and bone. Sutures, special kinds of stitches, can then used to promote healing but are not always necessary. Gauze is placed on top to control bleeding and help blood clot and the procedure is don.
After surgery, it is recommended to bite down softly onto this piece of gauze for 30-45 minutes to limit the amount of bleeding. This can be repeated anytime bleeding resumes with a fresh piece of gauze. With impacted and embedded wisdom teeth, some additional pain and swelling may occur but will go away after a few days. If severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever persists for a prolonged period of time you should call your dentist or oral surgeon.
With any wisdom teeth removal, it is common to experience swelling, tenderness, and bruising in the face and neck. Perscription pain medication, as prescribed by your oral surgeon, as well as ice packs will help, but if you have questions or concerns you can contact your oral surgeon.
Professional Care for Exception Results
White Pine Dental provides outstanding wisdom teeth removal in Murray, UT through customized treatment that focuses on the goals and needs of the patient. Our doctors can work with you to give you the best wisdom teeth treatment to relieve your pain and prevent damage. Get your free consultation by contacting us online or calling (801) 590-4627.