Wisdom Teeth

Understanding Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Young adults have many things happen in their lives. They graduate from high school, get to vote, maybe graduate from college, and get jobs. One of the milestones of young adulthood is getting wisdom teeth. Most of the time, that also means they get a few trips to the dentist to have them pulled. An estimated 10 million wisdom teeth are pulled annually.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Cambridge

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are so named because they come in anytime between the ages of 17 and 29. Most people get them before they turn 21 years old but they don't all come in at once. You may get one or two and then the other two several years later. Not everyone gets wisdom teeth but most do.

In ancient times, wisdom teeth coming in was a sign that you were an adult and those who got them were allowed adult participation in their tribe or clan.

Wisdom teeth are wide molars that start erupting in the furthest part of the back of the mouth behind all the other teeth. There are a total of four with one on each side on the top and bottom rows.

The Problem

It's speculated why wisdom teeth today present problems compared to centuries ago, but the fact is that the worst dental problems come from wisdom teeth. They can grow impacted into the jaw, crowd out other teeth, or become easily decayed. Most people don't have big enough jaws or mouths for them to grow straight like other teeth so dentists recommend pulling them in most cases.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Extracting wisdom teeth happens much like every other type of tooth extraction. You are given a local anesthetic and the dentist or oral surgeon gets under the tooth and lifts it before pulling it out with forceps. The dentist will then clean, disinfect, and stitch the socket.
However, an impacted wisdom tooth requires a more complex procedure. The procedure for an impacted tooth is to cut a flap of gum tissue and discard some of the bone around the tooth. The tooth is then removed with forceps. Some wisdom teeth have to be broken and removed in pieces when they are severely impacted.

After Care

The dentist will put gauze over the wound to stop the bleeding. A blood cot will form to fill the socket and help it heal. The local anesthetic will wear off in a few hours. The dentist will give you an antibiotic to prevent infection. Be sure to take all of it.
You will need some pain relievers to help with discomfort after the numbing medicine wears off. Standard pain relievers from a local drugstore will work well. Your dentist may also give you a prescription so be sure to ask before you leave the office.
Your cheek will swell some so use a cold compress wrapped in a towel to reduce swelling. You may feel sleepy if you use sedation therapy so allow time for a nap. Don’t smoke or use tobacco and stay away from heavy physical activity for a few days. Don’t use a straw to drink liquids as it might disrupt the blood clot or stitches. Eat soft food for a couple of days until the pain subsides.
Those who see the eruptions of wisdom teeth should have a dentist look at them to see if they need to be removed. Monitoring the growth of wisdom teeth will ensure they can be removed before they cause problems or pain. Schedule an appointment today.
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