Wisdom teeth might not be the most important topic but if you have wisdom teeth that are giving you pain or issues, then there are important things you should know about the topic. Wisdom teeth are called wisdom teeth because they erupt (emerge) into the mouth when people are in their late teens or early twenties, affectionately termed the “Age of Wisdom.” Wisdom teeth are technically referred to as third molars, and they’re just like all the other teeth in your mouth. Most adults have four wisdom teeth, but it’s entirely possible to have more, less or none at all.
Poorly positioned or impacted teeth can cause many problems. You should seek professional advice about your wisdom teeth and have an oral examination and x-rays of your mouth. Your dentist can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or future issues with your wisdom teeth. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid- teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia by a specially trained dentist. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the wisdom teeth extraction procedure is performed. You and your dentist will discuss the anesthetic option that is right for you. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary), to help manage any swelling or discomfort that might occur. Following surgery, you may experience some swelling, mild discomfort and bleeding, which are part of the normal healing process. Cold compresses may help decrease the swelling, and medication prescribed by your dentist can help manage the discomfort. You may be instructed to modify your diet and exercise following surgery and later progress to more normal foods and activity.
Most people can go through life without having problems with their wisdom teeth but wisdom teeth that are not removed should continue to be monitored, because the potential for developing problems later on still exists. As with many other health conditions, as people age, they are at greater risk for health problems and that includes potential problems with their wisdom teeth. Regular dental visits are important so your dentist can evaluate not just your wisdom teeth but your overall oral health to help you prevent and manage dental disease and achieve optimal oral health.
To learn more about wisdom teeth call Prestige Oral Surgery today at (732) 297-7000.