Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically come in around the ages of 17 and 25. While some people can keep these extra teeth without issue, the vast majority of wisdom teeth – about 85% – will need to be removed for health reasons. That’s why Dr. James Kirby is always prepared to perform wisdom teeth extractions in Green Hills.
Wisdom teeth can lead to all sorts of health issues. For one thing, there’s often not enough room for them in the mouth, meaning they can fail to erupt and become impacted; this can be very painful and cause inflammation. If wisdom teeth do erupt, they can crowd the other teeth and cause misalignment, potentially undoing any previous orthodontic work.
Because wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth and are in an awkward position, they’re often hard to brush and floss properly, increasing the risk of cavities; they can also render your second molars similarly vulnerable to decay.
At Green Hills Dental Center, we can help you determine whether or not a restorative dental procedure is truly necessary. Dr. Kirby can use X-rays to check their development and predict whether they’ll cause any issues when they erupt. In most cases, an extraction will be recommended if the wisdom teeth are impacted, crowd the mouth, or are otherwise causing discomfort.
You should also be aware of the symptoms of wisdom teeth that aren’t erupting properly. Contact your dentist in Green Hills if you experience any of the following:
During an extraction, anesthesia or another form of sedation dentistry will be used to dull any pain or discomfort. The dentist will make an incision in the gums to expose the tooth for removal; sometimes the tooth can be taken out whole, but in other cases it may be easier to remove in pieces. Afterwards the site will be cleaned of any debris, and gauze will be placed to control the bleeding.
You’ll need to give yourself some time to heal after the procedure; depending on the level of sedation used, you might need someone else to drive you home.
We can give you specific after care instructions after the surgery. In general, you can control any discomfort with pain medication and use an ice pack for the swelling. You’ll need to avoid strenuous activities for a while, and a soft food diet will be required for at least the first 24 hours. In general, it usually takes about three to four days to fully recover from the procedure.