Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars that grow in the back of your mouth usually in your teens or early twenties. Most people don’t have enough space in their mouths for wisdom teeth, which is why these teeth frequently cause pain.
Our team of specialists at Hometown Family Dental Centers — with locations in Raeford, Vass, and Fayetteville, North Carolina — can determine if you should schedule a wisdom tooth extraction. These extra teeth aren’t necessary for a healthy, functioning mouth, so if they’re causing you discomfort or making your other teeth crooked, it’s best to remove them.
When do you need wisdom teeth extracted?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, but you might not have to remove them if they are:
- Fully erupted (grown in completely)
- Able to be appropriately cleaned
- Positioned correctly
- Biting correctly with their opposite teeth
For most people, wisdom teeth don’t have room to develop properly and may cause problems. They can grow in at various angles, sometimes even horizontally. If a wisdom tooth stays entirely within the gums, it can become impacted, which could cause infection or a cyst.
If a wisdom tooth only partially erupts from your gums, the area becomes difficult to see or clean. Partially emerged wisdom teeth create a pathway for bacteria that can cause oral infection and gum disease.
You also may need to have wisdom teeth removed due to crowding. If these teeth don't have enough room to come in properly, they can crowd or damage nearby teeth.
Other reasons for wisdom teeth extraction include:
- Chronic infection
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Nearby tooth damage
Experts recommend removing wisdom teeth before roots and bone are fully formed. This also makes recovery faster. Many young adults choose to have their wisdom teeth extracted before the teeth cause problems.
What happens during wisdom teeth extractions?
Many patients are nervous about wisdom teeth extraction, but the procedure is often much faster and easier than you think. Your dentist carefully examines your mouth and takes X-rays if necessary. Here’s what you can expect:
Your dentist administers a local anesthetic before the extraction. This anesthetic numbs the area at the back of your mouth and ensures that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. At Hometown Family Dental Centers, we also offer sedation dentistry to help you relax and eliminate any anxiety.
Your dentist first removes the gum tissue covering the wisdom teeth and then loosens each tooth and removes it using forceps. Bleeding is normal, and your dentist may use a few dissolvable stitches to help your gums heal.
In the first 24 hours after your wisdom teeth extractions, blood clots form in the sockets where the teeth were. This protects the jawbone and nerves while you heal. Most patients notice that the swelling following wisdom tooth extraction diminishes in a few days. You should be clear to go back to school or work in 2-3 days.
You may still notice some bruising, stiffness, and soreness, and it can take up to two weeks for a complete recovery. Our Hometown Family Dental Centers team provides you with detailed instructions for at-home care to make sure you remain as comfortable as possible and heal well.
If you’re experiencing wisdom tooth pain, call Hometown Family Dental Centers today at the location nearest you, or use our secure online form to request an appointment.