Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to erupt in an adult dentition. Usually, they start to come in sometime in the mid-to late-teen years. However, some 3rd molars aren’t fully developed until a person reaches closer to 30 years of age.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Generally, Dr. Brimhall prefers not to remove teeth unless they are causing pain, infected, or harming the healthy teeth adjacent to them. In most cases, a panoramic x-ray will be necessary to fully assess the tooth’s positioning and stage of development.
One of the reasons why wisdom teeth extraction is fairly normal, is due to the lack of space that these teeth have to come in.
This can create problems like:
- Pressure against neighboring teeth, resulting in tooth crowding throughout the mouth
- Partial eruption, allowing food and plaque to collect just under the gumlines
- Difficulty keeping the area clean
- An increased level of decay and infection around the back teeth
- Swelling, pain, or abscesses
- Fully or partially impacted wisdom teeth
- Cysts within the jawbone
Removing the wisdom tooth eliminates the source of infection or decay that may jeopardize the integrity of your adjacent teeth. If Dr. Brimhall begins to see early signs of complications or limited space within the jaw, he may recommend that you or your teen schedule a wisdom teeth extraction before other problems arise. Otherwise, you may choose to simply wait and monitor the situation to see if it gets any worse.
Ensuring Your Comfort During Oral Surgery
As with any oral surgery, we strive to keep you as comfortable as possible during a wisdom teeth extraction. South Anchorage Dental Center provides in-house oral conscious sedation, so that there’s no need to schedule your procedure in an off-site outpatient facility.
Oral sedatives are extremely safe and effective. Most people describe the experience as feeling as if they were taking a nap or daydreaming. While you will be able to follow simple instructions (such as, “open wide,” or “turn your head,”) you will likely not remember a single thing about the appointment after it’s over.
Local anesthetics are used alongside of the sedative, to ensure that the area around your wisdom teeth is completely numb. Typically, all of these medications wear off within the next three to four hours. As such, you will need to have a friend or family member escort you to and from your appointment.
After Your Wisdom Teeth Removal
You’ll want to take it easy for a few days after your extraction. Plan on taking a long weekend before heading back to work or school. Dr. Brimhall will provide you with a set of written home care instructions that you should follow.
For the first day or two, a prescription strength pain reliever can help to reduce any discomfort. After that, an over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen is usually adequate.
Stick to a soft diet and avoid carbonated or alcoholic beverages, as these may interfere with the surgical site. Dr. Brimhall may need to see you for a follow-up exam to ensure that everything is healing as it should.
Book a Consultation at South Anchorage Dental Center
If you suspect that you or your teen’s wisdom teeth may need to be removed, give our South Anchorage dentist a call. We’ll arrange to have you meet with Dr. Brimhall one-on-one to decide on the next best step.
South Anchorage Dental Center accepts most insurances. Financing for wisdom teeth extraction is also available. Book today to find out how we can help you have a healthy smile for life!