Wisdom teeth, the 3rd set of molars, are the last ones in the mouth cavity to erupt. This usually happens between the ages 17 and 25, but wisdom teeth may erupt later in life.
For a long time, there had been a controversy around the question whether to remove wisdom teeth. If they do not cause pain or harm once they erupt, it is perfectly fine to stay in place.
However, if wisdom teeth cause discomfort or pain, or they are in a bad position, it is better to have them removed.
Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
In some cases, wisdom teeth will be impacted when they come in. Dentists recommend that such teeth are extracted. They may have to be cut out or pulled, but cutting out is a better option most of the time. This is done by a qualified surgeon. Persons who feel discomfort or pain when wisdom teeth erupt are advised to have a consultation with an oral surgeon.
The surgeon will take X-rays1 during the consultation as to find out how bad the tooth or teeth are. They will look at the results and will go over them with the patient, explaining what the options are. If the only option is to have the wisdom teeth cut out or pulled, the surgeon will use an IV sedation or local anesthesia.
Some dentists recommend opting for an IV sedation if a wisdom tooth has to be extracted. This way, the patient feels more relaxed. If the patient opts for a local anesthesia, they will be fully aware of what is going on, because it is only numbing. He or she will hear the cracking and popping involved in the procedure, which may feel uncomfortable.
Depending on the formation, size, and shape of teeth, the extracting them may be hard or easy. If the root tips of the tooth are around the bone, removing the tooth may be painful and time consuming. Once the removal process is completed, there is usually no or little swelling. Dentists typically prescribe some type of pain medication to be used at home.
Patients who opt for an IV sedation should ask someone to accompany them. The reason is that they will not be able to drive after the procedure.
Once the removal process is over, the dentist will explain the steps to ensure proper healing of the mouth and gums. Usually, dentists explain what to do so that the patient does not experience any problems during the healing process. The patient may have to ask someone to stay with them during the first 24 hours.
This is important as to make sure they are ok. Persons who have their teeth extracted should not consume some types of foods during the first two days. Once a wisdom tooth is removed, however, patients notice a visible improvement in their health and mouth.