Wisdom Tooth Removal
It is quite common for the wisdom teeth to be extracted. The wisdom teeth may come in at an odd angle or there may not be enough space for the wisdom teeth; if the wisdom teeth aren’t extracted, they will push the other teeth out of alignment, marring a perfect smile or quite possibly ruining years of expensive orthodontic treatment. The wisdom teeth may also become impacted if there is not enough room for them; this can cause pain, swelling, infection, stiffness of the jaw, and damage to surrounding teeth.
To avoid these dental problems, teens should routinely undergo dental exams and X-rays so we can see how the wisdom teeth are coming in. Typically, the wisdom teeth erupt sometime between the ages of 17 and 24. If the wisdom teeth are likely to cause dental problems, they should be removed before any damage is caused; usually between the ages of 14 and 22.
At our Long Island cosmetic dentistry practice, Astoria Dental Group, we perform wisdom teeth extraction on patients. We invite new and current patients to schedule an appointment so we can discuss the possible need for wisdom teeth removal.
Patients may be put under general or local anesthesia for wisdom teeth removal. Our dentists will discuss these options with patients prior to treatment and choose a sedation method that is appropriate for the patient’s needs. If patients undergo general anesthesia, they will need to avoid food and drinks after midnight the day of the procedure.
Once the patient is fully sedation, a small incision is made in the gums and the wisdom teeth are extracted. Then, the incisions are closed with stitches.
The side effects of wisdom teeth removal surgery including pain, bleeding, and swelling of the cheeks. Some patients may also experience nausea on the day of surgery due to the use of anesthesia.
Wisdom teeth removal is associated with a weeklong recovery period, during which time patients must follow post-surgical instructions to avoid complications. The instructions include:
- Do not touch the healing incision with the tongue, your fingers, or dental tools
- Take pain medication as directed
- Apply soft ice packs to the cheeks for 20 minutes every two or three hours; this will reduce pain and swelling
- Rest and relax, especially the day of surgery
- Eat soft foods for a few days after surgery
- Do not eat anything that contains small pieces that could get caught in the healing wound; this includes seeds, rice, and popcorn
- Do not drink out of a straw, this could dislodge the blood clot and lead to dry socket
- Use a saltwater rinse once or twice daily to reduce the risk of infection
- Gingerly brush the teeth twice daily; floss the teeth, but avoid flossing near the surgical site
Patients in their teenage years should undergo an exam to see if the wisdom teeth should be removed before they adversely affect surrounding teeth or erupt. If you are a teenager, or if your child is a teenager, we invite you to schedule a wisdom teeth removal consultation at our practice in Long Island. Invisalign®, veneers, and other treatment options can also be discussed at this time.