What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as “the third molars” are typically the last teeth to develop. The wisdom teeth are the upper and lower teeth responsible to grind food. They are located at the back of your mouth next to your second molars. Wisdom teeth will typically complete full development anywhere from 15-20 years of age.
Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last to develop and most adults do not have enough room in their mouth for their wisdom teeth to become fully functional. The lack of room for wisdom teeth can result in long-term harm to your dental health. When wisdom teeth are impacted, they become partially or fully trapped in your gums or jawbone. While wisdom teeth extraction is not cheap, it shouldn’t be ignored. Choosing to dismiss the early signs of impacted wisdom teeth may ultimately lead to a more expensive and complicated treatment in the future. Impacted wisdom teeth only get worse over time and may lead to infection, damage, gum disease, dental decay, cysts, crowding, and more!
What is the best age to remove my wisdom teeth?
If you do not have enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt, it is recommended to have your wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible. In some patients, it could be anywhere from 11-12 years old, or it may be 17-18 years of age. The younger you are, the better your recovery is as compared to an older patient.
What if I don’t have my wisdom teeth removed now?
Some individuals opt out of having the surgery because they were told to “wait and see.” Many who do not have wisdom teeth removed develop localized problems. If you choose to wait till you are in your thirties, forties, or fifties, your recovery and predicted outcome will be much more difficult and have a higher rate of complication.
When is the best time to have my wisdom teeth removed?
While undergoing an elective surgical procedure is never convenient, we recommend that your wisdom teeth surgery doesn’t conflict with school-related activities. Most kids will undergo wisdom teeth removal during vacation times such as spring or winter break or during the summer.
What happens with wisdom teeth removal?
Before the day of your procedure, you should discuss with your surgeon whether you prefer to be fully sedated or undergo local anesthesia. Most people prefer to “go to sleep” when having their wisdom teeth removed.
On the day of your surgery, you will take medication to help minimize pain and swelling from the procedure. We ask that a parent or responsible adult accompany you to the procedure and plan on staying with you the entire day. Wisdom teeth removal takes about an hour and you should plan on being in the office for about 2 hours. You should expect to be comfortable but drowsy after the procedure and plan on resting for the remainder of the day. Do not plan on any major physical or scholastic activities for the next few days following your procedure.
What should I expect after having my wisdom teeth removed?
We ask you to keep a low profile for a few days and follow your post-op instructions as closely as possible to ensure a speedy and comfortable recovery. Please allow your body time to heal before resuming any major academic, social, or athletic activities. Most patients begin to resume general activities anywhere from 3-5 days.