Wisdom teeth or third molars are the last set of teeth to erupt between 17 and 25 years. They are four molars that emerge in sets of two on the upper and lower jaw. Some people develop wisdom teeth and others don’t due to genetics and other factors.
In some people, wisdom teeth develop normally and therefore don’t cause any problem (although they need to be monitored). However, more often than not, the wisdom teeth don’t fully emerge through the gum and they become impacted. Lack of jaw space is the primary reason for the teeth getting entrapped or partially emerge. Impacted teeth can only be treated through extraction.
Although wisdom teeth extraction has soon become a standard procedure, it is not done unless necessary. After your dental assessment, the dentist will decide if you need an extraction or not. Sometimes the four wisdom teeth emerge fully and fit well with the rest to the teeth, thereby causing no problem. Our dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal when the teeth are impacted. You may also need an extraction if the wisdom teeth are causing other problems such as:
Your recovery will depend on the severity of the dental procedure; simple extractions have a short healing time compared to the surgical ones. But, regardless of the type of extraction, you will experience pain and discomfort. Additionally, you will bleed a few hours after the procedure. The dentist will place a gauze pad for 45 minutes on the affected area to stop the bleeding. Alternatively, you may use a moistened tea bag. Bleeding should stop within a few hours, but if it doesn’t stop, call our dentist for treatment.
You may have facial swelling in the affected area, but ice compression can help. Apply ice packs for the first 24 hours to minimize swelling.
Although most wisdom teeth extractions are successful, some people may develop complications such as:
1. Dry socket
After extraction, blood clots form in the tooth socket to facilitate healing. However, due to several factors, the clots may fail to form or you may accidentally dislodge it, thereby exposing the socket. Without the blood clots, healing will take longer than expected.
Dry socket develops within the first three days and they cause a foul smell and pain. When you experience any discomfort, call our dentist for treatment. He will clean the area and place a medicated dressing over it to facilitate healing.
2. Lip numbness
Numbness or paresthesia is a rare complication that occurs when the nerves near the impacted teeth get bruised or damaged during the procedure. The problem may resolve within two months. But, don’t worry our oral surgeon will take the necessary precaution to avoid the nerves.
If you have pain in your jaw, visit our dental office in Spring TX. We will assess your dental structure using the latest technology to determine if wisdom teeth extraction is necessary or not.