Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, and the last to appear in your mouth. They can make their appearance between the ages of 17 and 25 and are visible on dental X-rays before they arrive. Many dentists even recommend they be removed before they start to grow in. What purpose do they serve and why should you remove them?
When wisdom teeth come in properly, they assist in helping you chew. There can be some pain associated with their arrival they cut through the gums. As long as they come in straight and healthy and your jaw has plenty of room, wisdom teeth are fine. It’s when they start to cause problems that you will need to have them extracted.
When looking for an oral surgeon in Modesto, CA, look no further than the Drs. at Hillock Family Dentistry.
Why should you remove your Wisdom Teeth?
There are many reasons why our dentist may advise you to have your wisdom teeth removed:
- They’re impacted. Due to their location at the very back of your mouth and jaw, your wisdom teeth may not come in normally. If your wisdom teeth only partially emerge from beneath the surface of the gum, or they don’t emerge at all they are what we refer to as “impacted.”
- They’re causing disruption. If your wisdom teeth are pointing in the wrong direction when they try to come in, they can crowd the rest of the teeth in your mouth by pressing against them. This can cause your teeth to move out of proper alignment.
- You have a small mouth. If there is nowhere for your wisdom teeth to come in, your dentist may recommend you have them removed.
- You have tooth decay or gum damage.
How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If your teeth have fully emerged into position, your dentist may be able to easily remove them by simply extracting them, which requires only minutes. If they are impacted, however, oral surgery will be required to remove your wisdom teeth.
There are varying levels of sedation given to patients who have their wisdom teeth extracted.
- Local anesthesia. Using local anesthesia, you will remain completely awake but won’t be able to feel anything. You may also breath nitrous oxide to help you relax during surgery.
- Sedation. Your dentist will still use a local anesthetic to numb the area before performing surgery, but you will also receive IV sedation to help you comfortably drift off during your procedure.
Your wisdom tooth removal should take about 45 minutes and is performed as an outpatient procedure. It may be necessary for your dentist to perform minor gum surgery to remove them.
For any questions or concerns about sedation or your oral surgery in Modesto, contact our office.
Recovery from Wisdom Tooth Removal
Recovery from wisdom tooth removal requires a dose of TLC. You will be sent home with a prescription for pain medication and strict orders to take it easy. You may experience some swelling and discomfort in the first three days following wisdom teeth extraction. Using an ice pack intermittently will help with any swelling or you experience after surgery.
You should avoid strenuous activity for a week following the surgery in order to avoid dislodging a blood clot from the socket. You should plan to eat a diet of soft foods for at least 24 hours following your surgery, although it may be necessary to continue this for a few days depending on your level of comfort. You should drink plenty of fluids as your body continues to heal, while avoiding alcohol or caffeine for at least the first 24 hours.
Oral care following Wisdom Tooth Removal
In the first 24 hours following your surgery, it is important that you not brush or floss your teeth, use a harsh mouthwash or spit. After that initial period, you should gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water once every two hours and following meals for at least the first week.
If you think you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed, a consultation with our Modesto oral surgeon at Hillock Family Dentistry could help to answer all of your questions and give you peace of mind. In the event that removal is needed, we can schedule your surgery allowing you to find relief as quickly as possible. We always ensure our patients are comfortable for the procedure. Once healed, you will no longer have to deal with the pain of an erupting wisdom tooth – it is a relief that is well worth the trouble. Call us and schedule an appointment.