Dealing with Wisdom Teeth — A Survival Guide
Getting accurate information about wisdom teeth and how they behave — particularly from experts in dentistry — can make it easier for you to devise an action plan for combating wisdom teeth pain, as well as how to survive wisdom tooth extractions in Chandler, AZ.
What is a Wisdom Tooth?
Wisdom teeth erupt on the upper and lower side of your jaws in the back of your mouth. Considered as the third molar pair of teeth, they often appear after the age of 18, being the final teeth to emerge in your mouth.
In general, adults have four wisdom teeth. There is usually one wisdom tooth in each of the four quadrants, although it is possible to have fewer or none. In some cases, an adult can have more than four wisdom teeth, which dental professionals call supernumerary teeth.
Is It Necessary to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed?
According to the American Public Health Association, people spend about $3 billion per year on wisdom teeth extractions. However, although a handful of lucky individuals experience no issues when their wisdom teeth erupt, most dentists still recommend getting a dental extraction when:
- There is not enough space for wisdom teeth. Most adults have room for about 28 teeth, which is the usual number of teeth people have before the third molars erupt. When adding the four wisdom teeth, an adult has 32 teeth trying to fit into the confined space within the jaw. When there is not enough room in your jaw, the wisdom teeth can become impacted. An impacted tooth is one that does not erupt into the dental arch within the expected developmental window. As a result, the wisdom teeth become misaligned. Having your wisdom teeth pulled will ensure that your chompers have adequate room in the jaw.
- There is gum pain beneath the wisdom tooth. Gum pain can be a symptom of infection, which often develops from a partially erupted wisdom tooth. When food particles and bacteria become trapped in this area, an excruciating infection known as pericoronitis (swelling of the tissue surrounding a wisdom tooth) can occur. Having your wisdom teeth removed is crucial to preventing further infection.
- You have misaligned wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth that come in sideways can push against the rest of your teeth, causing them to shift and move. Having your wisdom teeth extracted also removes the threat to your nearby teeth.
- Cysts are developing on your wisdom teeth. Having cysts on your wisdom teeth results from fluid accumulation in the sac next to the tooth. This oral problem can damage the adjacent structures, such as the bone or tooth roots. In rare circumstances, an untreated cyst can form a tumor.
Removing wisdom teeth is a routine procedure that assures the long-term health of your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. If an emerging wisdom tooth causes you unbearable pain or persistent discomfort, below is a survival guide on how to deal with wisdom teeth.
What to Expect When Getting Wisdom Teeth Pulled
Setting your expectations is an effective way to calm your nerves before and during wisdom teeth surgery. Here are questions to ask your Chandler dentist before the big day:
- How many teeth will be removed? Depending on your case, a dentist may remove one, a few, or all of your wisdom teeth at a time.
- What type of anesthesia will be used? Most dental patients undergo local or general anesthesia to circumvent discomfort during the procedure. With general anesthesia, you will need a friend or family member to accompany you to and from the dentist’s office. Grogginess is a common and temporary side effect of general anesthesia, which deems driving unsafe.
- How long is the procedure? The total time it takes to extract a wisdom tooth depends on the condition of your teeth and the number of wisdom teeth a dentist must pull. Often, the procedure can take 60 minutes to several hours to finish.
- What are the pre-surgical instructions? Because certain medications may cause heavy bleeding, most dental professionals prohibit the use of blood thinners or aspirin before the procedure.
To receive a comprehensive list of the do’s and don’ts of wisdom tooth removal, speak with your dentist about the procedure and ask as many questions as possible. Having this thorough discussion can alleviate any anxiety you may have, as well as avoid potential complications.
Recovery Tips for Wisdom Teeth Removal
After your wisdom tooth surgery, keep these helpful tips in mind to manage some common discomforts.
- Swelling. To reduce swelling after tooth extraction, place an ice pack on the outside surface of your cheek near the removed tooth. Hold the ice pack in place for at least 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of rest. Repeat as needed during the first 24 hours after the procedure.
- Bleeding. If you encounter bleeding after wisdom tooth surgery, apply a moist gauze pad over the area and bite down for about 45 minutes. If bleeding continues, contact your dental professional right away.
- Pain and discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as Ibuprofen, can help eliminate immense pain from removed wisdom teeth. However, always seek the professional advice of your dentist before using any pain killers, and ensure to follow the guidelines on the package.
The best way to overcome your fear and prevent dental anxiety is to learn everything you can about wisdom teeth surgery. We hope that reading this in-depth article helped achieve that goal. Remember, although removing your wisdom teeth may seem terrifying, having the procedure improves your quality of life. Because ultimately, it eliminates the persistent pain associated with wisdom teeth problems.
Say Goodbye to Your Wisdom Teeth
Choose today to stop the pain. If something is amiss with your oral health, consult with a professional to ascertain whether wisdom tooth surgery or another dental service is most suitable for your case. For a competent and reliable family dentist in Chandler, AZ, visit our office or contact us now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shervin Rahimi. Your teeth are in expert, gentle hands here at Kyrene Family Dentistry.