Most wisdom teeth patients are between the ages of 14 and 30 years old. If you are older than this, you may wonder if you can have adult wisdom teeth removal now. The answer is yes; dentists do remove adult wisdom teeth if you have not had this procedure earlier. If your wisdom teeth are causing issues later in life, your dentist can help relieve your pain and set your mouth up for success.
Wisdom teeth are molars in the very back, close to your throat. These third molars typically develop after all your other teeth. You have two of these molars on each side, both top and bottom, so a total of eight wisdom teeth. These teeth do serve a purpose because they help you grind your food to aid in digestion. You usually have all your wisdom teeth by the time you are 20 years old.
Why Do Dentists Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth can be helpful, but often, they become a problem. They can cause issues like:
Difficult to clean properly
Gum disease and bone loss
Cavities in the wisdom teeth and the molars beside them
There are several types of impactions: soft tissue, partial bony, and complete bony impactions. Impaction means that the wisdom teeth can't come into the normal alignment that would allow them to help with chewing. Adult wisdom teeth removal will help you avoid problems like those listed above.
Does Everyone Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Wisdom teeth frequently cause problems. However, if you are not having any significant problems with these teeth, you may not need to have adult wisdom teeth removal. In most cases, it is not an emergency, and removing them is an elective procedure. You decide if you want to go forward with having them removed.
However, you might want to consider adult wisdom teeth removal as a preventative measure. Dentists can often evaluate the mouth and the teeth to recognize if problems are likely to come later on. If you are concerned about your teeth, it's best to have your dentist check your wisdom teeth and give you a recommendation.
What Is the Process for Adult Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Having adult wisdom teeth removal can be stressful if you don't know what to expect. That's why our dentist at South Anchorage Dental Clinic thoroughly explains the procedure and answers any questions you might have. For now, here are the basics of the procedure.
First, your dentist and their team gather the information needed. They must find out how urgent it is to remove the teeth, check for problems, and get a clear view of your mouth. The dentist will examine your teeth and mouth. Then, you get panoramic x-rays for further evaluation. Then, your dentist explains the situation and allows you to decide whether to go forward with adult wisdom teeth removal.
Sedation and Removal
On the day of your procedure, your dentist will give you a sedative – usually both an oral and a local anesthetic. Sometimes, dentists offer their patients the option for general anesthesia, in which you are unaware while the procedure is going on. When the dentist begins to remove your teeth, you will likely feel pressure but not pain. After the teeth have been removed, your dentist explains what you need to do during your recovery.
Recovery and Follow-Up
Recovering from having wisdom teeth removed is usually relatively easy if you are under 30 years old. However, if you are older than that, you may heal slower or have more complications. For you, it's even more important to follow the dentist's recommendations during recovery.
You should receive a prescription pain reliever to take for the first few days. It's best to take the prescribed medication to minimize your pain and heal more efficiently.
For healthy recovery, it's best to follow standard instructions, such as:
Eat a soft diet
Avoid food and beverages that irritate your mouth
Sneeze with your mouth open to avoid pressure
Follow your dentist's instructions
It's important to keep any wound dressing in place as long as needed to avoid dry sockets. Your dentist should give you a list of instructions to follow.
Adult Wisdom Removal Complications
It's more common to have complications during adult wisdom teeth removal than if you are young. Still, the risk of complications is low, especially if you have a careful and competent dentist. While the following complications can happen, your dentist should be prepared to prevent or manage them.
Nerve problems due to the closeness of the lower wisdom teeth roots to a nerve that supplies feeling to other parts of your mouth.
Sinus problems due to the proximity of the sinuses to the upper wisdom teeth.
Stiff jaw during recovery
The instruction sheet that your dentist gives you should cover several ways you can avoid some of these issues. For example, if you avoid blowing your nose for the first few days, you can prevent losing the clot in your upper wisdom teeth. This allows your gums to heal properly without a dry socket.
Should You Have Adult Wisdom Teeth Removal?
The decision of whether to have adult wisdom teeth removal is ultimately up to you. In some cases, you may have dental problems that need to be taken care of immediately. For instance, if you have severe pain or an impacted wisdom tooth, your dentist may strongly encourage you to have the procedure.
On the other hand, if you don't have any particular problems, your decision is all about prevention. In that case, it's a good idea to follow the dentist's recommendation. They have seen many adults who still have wisdom teeth. Dentists can recognize developing problems, often before you even notice any issues. In the end, though, you have the freedom to do or not do what you want about your wisdom teeth.
What About the Cost?
At SADC, we have a large network of insurance providers. In addition, we offer the SADC dental savings plan that allows you to get up to 20% off all treatments. What's more, we can work with you on payments if you are in a tough financial situation but require medically necessary treatments.
Where to Go for Expert Adult Wisdom Teeth Removal
Finding the right dentist for adult wisdom teeth removal doesn't have to be a chore. If you live in or around the Anchorage, Alaska, area, you can rely on the expertise of our team at South Anchorage Dental Center. We work together to provide the excellent experience you deserve. From our dentist to each member of the treatment team, we are here to make your life easier while taking care of all your dental needs.
At SADC, we provide dental care, adhering to the highest standards of safety. Our dental expertise ensures that each dental procedure is right for you and performed with precision. We welcome you to come for a consultation to determine if adult wisdom teeth removal is best for you.