Do you have questions involving your wisdom teeth and when they need to come out? Let our Smithers dentists offer some advice on wisdom teeth removal.
What are wisdom teeth?
Between the ages of 17 and 25, many of us will have a third set of molars emerge. These are known as wisdom teeth. If they are healthy and straight when they erupt, wisdom teeth are generally harmless. However, if your wisdom teeth come in misaligned, or cannot erupt completely, you may have to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
By removing wisdom teeth that are causing issues, your dentist can help to maintain your oral health, and prevent issues from developing in the future. In some cases, a patient will undergo another procedure (example: corrective jaw surgery) that requires their wisdom teeth to be extracted so they won’t be in the way.
Ideally, wisdom teeth should be removed before they cause pain or discomfort, and before an infection develops. Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing pain, they may still eventually cause crowding, which can lead to tooth decay as crowded teeth can be difficult to clean.
You’ll want to schedule your wisdom teeth extraction in advance, and allow a few days for recovery.
What age do most people have their wisdom teeth removed?
It is ideal to have your wisdom teeth removed around the age of 18. At this time your tooth roots haven't fully formed or hooked to the jaw bone yet. After this happens, the procedure and recovery process can become more difficult.
Signs you need to have your wisdom teeth removed
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist, as your wisdom teeth could be causing problems:
- Sinus problems
- Bad breath (caused by plaque bacteria collecting on the wisdom teeth, or infection)
- Pain in teeth or jaw
- Difficulty eating
- Gum inflammation
- Facial swelling (caused by impacted wisdom teeth that remain below the gum surface)
- Misaligned wisdom teeth
How long does recovery from wisdom teeth removal take?
Oftentimes, dentists will use IV sedation to keep their patients comfortable during the procedure.
Expect to be in and out of your appointment in about an hour. Recovery takes a few days, with some potential discomfort and swelling within the first 2 to 3 days.
During healing, eat soft foods, refrain from strenuous physical activity, and follow your dentist’s advice and post-care instructions. If you do these things you should have a smooth recovery process.