How and Why Wisdom Teeth Are Removed

Did you know that approximately 5 million people have their wisdom teeth removed each year in the United States? Wisdom tooth removal is among one of the most common types of oral surgery. 

Are your wisdom teeth causing you pain? Has your dentist recommended you have your wisdom teeth removed? If so, don’t panic!

Keep reading to learn all about why it is important to have your wisdom teeth removed and what to expect from the procedure. 

What Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth are technically referred to as third molars. They show up in the back of the mouth when someone is around 17 to 25 years old. While most people have 4 wisdom teeth, it is not uncommon to have fewer. 

Wisdom teeth extraction is the process of removing your wisdom teeth. Some people don’t have to have their wisdom teeth removed, but most people will. 

Who Needs Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Not everyone will have their wisdom teeth removed. How do you know if yours need extracting?

You should always get your dentist’s opinion when deciding whether to remove your wisdom teeth, but here are some common signs that you should have your wisdom teeth removed: 

  • Pain
  • Repeated infection
  • Tumors
  • Cysts
  • Difficulty keeping the teeth clean
  • Tooth decay
  • Impacted wisdom teeth

If your wisdom teeth have fully erupted, you can reach them to clean with your toothbrush, and they don’t cause you any pain, you might not need to have them removed. 

Oftentimes, your dentist may recommend that you have them removed even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. That is because they may cause you significant issues in the future. 

To determine if you need a wisdom tooth extraction, your dentist will look at your teeth, take x-rays, and observe your cleaning habits. 

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If you are having issues with your wisdom teeth, you should listen to your dentist’s advice and have them removed. If you don’t remove them, they are likely to cause more pain and create more issues. 

Here are some common problems that wisdom teeth cause:

  • Infection
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Damage to other teeth 
  • Jaw pain
  • Crooked teeth

Wisdom teeth can have a major impact on your oral health. These problems can lead to tooth loss, bone decay, and infection. 

How Do You Prepare for the Procedure?

Has your dentist told you that you need to have your wisdom teeth removed? If so, you will need to start preparing for the surgery. 

Before your surgery, you should ask your dentist any questions that you may have about the procedure. Here are some good questions to ask your dentist:

  • What type of anesthesia will I receive?
  • How many teeth are being removed?
  • How long will the procedure take?
  • How long will recovery take?

You also should consider the cost of the surgery. Be sure to talk to your dentist about the cost and determine how much your dental insurance is going to cover. If you need help covering the cost of the surgery, consider applying for financing. 

Once it gets closer to your surgery date, it is a good idea to stock up on foods you can eat after your surgery. Soup, ice cream, oatmeal, and yogurt are good options. 

Because wisdom tooth extraction is usually an outpatient procedure, ask a friend or family member to pick you up after the surgery. 

What Are the Risks?

Most of the time, wisdom tooth removal is a simple surgery with few risks. But, because it is a surgery, there are some risks that you need to be aware of. 

One of the most common complications from wisdom tooth removal is dry sockets. Dry sockets occur when the blood clot that forms after surgery dissolves or is removed. When this happens, it exposes the bone and the nerves which causes pain. 

A dry socket should heal without aid but always check with your dentist if you experience dry sockets. 

More risks of wisdom tooth extraction include infection, reactions to the anesthesia, damage to other teeth, and damage to the jaw. 

How Is the Procedure Completed?

Your wisdom tooth extraction procedure should only take around 45 minutes, and you should not have to worry about pain. If you are conscious during the surgery and do feel pain, let your dentist know. 

The dentist will start by sedating you and numbing your mouth. The type of sedation that you receive will depend on if you are awake during the surgery or not. 

Once you are sedated and numb, the dentist will begin by removing any tissue around the wisdom teeth. The wisdom tooth may also be covered by bone, so the dentist will remove the bone if necessary. 

Once nothing is obstructing the wisdom tooth, the dentist will loosen the tooth. They may cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After removing the tooth, the dentist will use stitches to close the gums. 

What to Expect After the Procedure

After the process is complete, the dentist will move you to a recovery room while you gain consciousness. You will need someone to pick you up and take you home.

Once you get home, you may experience some bleeding, pain, swelling, and bruising. You should take over-the-counter pain medications, rest, use an ice pack, and eat soft foods until you recover. 

Call your dentist if you experience excessive bleeding, fever, difficulty breathing, severe pain, pus, or swelling that gets worse after a few days. 

Is It Time to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

If you need to have your wisdom teeth taken out, don’t panic. Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common oral surgeries. Be sure to ask your dentist plenty of questions before the procedure and take good care of yourself after. 

Are you currently looking for a dentist in Newbury Park or Thousand Oaks, CA to remove your wisdom teeth? If so, contact us today to set up an appointment!


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