What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars on both sides of your upper and lower jaws. Wisdom teeth are the last of your permanent teeth to come in. The first set of molars erupt around age six, the second set at age 12, and the third set (wisdom teeth) somewhere between the ages of 17 and 25. That’s where the “wisdom” moniker comes from, as by that age, hopefully, we are a much wiser than our younger days.
Why do I have to get my Wisdom Teeth removed?
Our jaw length means there isn’t any room for a third set of molars. So, when your wisdom teeth come down they become impacted (blocked) by the other teeth. They can come in sideways, pushing on the adjacent teeth. They sometimes are surrounded by bone. Often one wisdom tooth will partially erupt, creating pockets in the gums that are perfect places for bacteria to thrive.
Do Wisdom Teeth always need to be removed?
Wisdom teeth are not needed in the mouth, and they sometimes come in crooked, which leads to crowding and pain. In cases like this, Dr. John T Green recommends wisdom tooth extraction.
Although you may know someone who has their erupted wisdom teeth in place, people like that are very rare. Others seem to never have had their wisdom teeth come down and cause havoc. For the rest of us, the wisdom teeth simply cause the other teeth to be pushed out of position and may cause other dental issues.
When should my Wisdom Teeth come out?
Dr. John T Green does not recommend waiting in the case of your wisdom teeth. They may erupt all the way until around age 25, but you should be proactive with wisdom teeth. When a teenager is between the ages of 15 and 18 his or her wisdom tooth roots are only two-thirds formed, making this the perfect time to extract them. By waiting until your 20s, the wisdom tooth removal process will become more involved.
What to expect during Wisdom Tooth extraction
Wisdom teeth extraction by Dr. John T Green is considered minor surgery, but don’t say that to your teen on the third day after their surgery. X-rays show us when the wisdom teeth are descending (which is another reason to be diligent with your twice yearly professional cleanings and exams). At a certain point, the wisdom teeth will begin to either erupt or start pushing on the other teeth. This is the time to remove them. It would be easy if they had all erupted, but that is very rare. Instead usually half the teeth are impacted. Often they’ll need to be broken to get them out to minimize the impact on the surrounding gum tissue and the jawbone. That’s where the third-day pain comes from.
Tooth extraction and dry sockets
As with any surgery, infection is the main potential complication, but if the patient rinses with saltwater and keeps his or her mouth relatively clean this risk can be minimized. You may have heard about “dry socket,” but its occurrence is also rare. This happens when the initial blood clot that forms when after-surgery bleeding has stopped becomes dislodged or dissolves. When this happens there is a direct line to the jawbone and the surrounding nerves. As you would expect, this is very painful, but treating it is not difficult.
Wisdom Teeth removal recovery
In the majority of cases, your teenager will need about a week to get pretty much back to his or her old self. They will look like a chipmunk for the first few days, especially with impacted teeth, but that’s normal. When returning home from surgery, there will be bleeding, but that will usually stop in the first six hours or so. Dr. John T Green and his team will give you full instructions on how to handle your recovery.
Schedule an appointment
If you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth removal with Dr. John T Green, call our office today at (937) 293-3402 to schedule a consultation! Dr. John T Green proudly serves Dayton OH and surrounding areas.