Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth that emerge in the back of the mouth. They typically appear in the late teenage years or early twenties. While some people may have enough room in their mouth to accommodate these teeth, the vast majority of people do not. This can lead to a variety of problems, including pain, infection, and tooth decay. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of having your teenager’s wisdom teeth removed before they cause problems, including an explanation of the extraction process and the expected recovery.
Benefits of Wisdom Teeth Extraction
- Prevents Impacted Teeth
One of the most common problems associated with wisdom teeth is impaction. This occurs when the tooth is unable to emerge fully from the gum line, either because there is not enough room in the mouth, or because the tooth is growing in at an angle. Impacted teeth can cause pain, swelling, and infection. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth may even cause damage to adjacent teeth.
This is especially problems if your teen has already had their teeth alignment corrected with orthodontia.
By having your teenager’s wisdom teeth removed, you can prevent these problems from occurring. The extraction process removes the teeth before they have a chance to become impacted, which can help to preserve the health of the surrounding teeth and gums.
- Reduces the Risk of Infection
Another benefit of wisdom teeth extraction is that it can reduce the risk of infection. When wisdom teeth grow in at an angle, they can create a pocket between the tooth and the gum line. This pocket can be difficult to clean, and bacteria can easily collect there. Teenagers are sometimes less vigilant in caring for their teeth. If this is the case for your teenager, it is recommended that wisdom teeth be removed before they are a problem. Over time, this can lead to infection, which can be painful and potentially dangerous.
By removing the wisdom teeth, you eliminate the source of the infection before it has a chance to take hold. This can help to prevent complications and ensure the long-term health of the mouth and teeth.
3. Prevent Tooth Decay
Wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth, which can make them difficult to clean properly. This can lead to the buildup of plaque and bacteria, which can increase the risk of tooth decay. In addition, the position of the wisdom teeth can make it difficult to reach them with a toothbrush or floss, which can further contribute to decay. Just like infected pockets in the gums, tooth decay can cause pain. While this can be addressed with a filing in other teeth, it is healthier and more effective to simply remove the wisdom teeth.
By removing the wisdom teeth, you eliminate the risk of decay in these hard-to-reach areas. This can help to preserve the health of the surrounding teeth and prevent the need for future dental work.
The Extraction Process
Wisdom teeth extraction is a common dental procedure that is typically performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist with specialized training. The procedure itself is relatively straightforward and can be completed in a single office visit. Contrary to popular belief, it is not required to have wisdom teeth extracted by an oral surgeon. While it is an option, trained dentists at Urgent Dental can also preform the procedure.
Before the procedure, the dentist or oral surgeon will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the wisdom teeth. In some cases, they may also offer a sedative to help the patient relax.
Once the patient is numb, the dentist will use a special tool to loosen the wisdom teeth from the surrounding tissue. They will then remove the teeth using forceps or a surgical handpiece. In some cases, the dentist may need to make an incision in the gum to access the tooth. Again, anesthetic is used so that patient is comfortable during the process.
The entire procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete, although the exact time will depend on how many teeth are being removed and the complexity of the case.
After the procedure, the patient will need to follow a few simple steps to ensure a smooth recovery. These may include:
- Resting: It is important to rest for the first few days after the procedure to allow the body to heal. This may involve avoiding strenuous activity and getting plenty of rest.
- Ice: Applying ice to the affected area can help to reduce swelling and discomfort. The patient may be advised to apply ice packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Pain relief: The patient may be prescribed pain medication to help manage any discomfort during the recovery process.
- Soft foods: The patient should stick to soft foods for the first few days after the procedure to avoid irritating the affected area. This may include foods such as soup, yogurt, and mashed potatoes.
- Oral hygiene: It is important to maintain good oral hygiene during the recovery process. The patient may be advised to rinse their mouth with salt water several times a day, and to avoid brushing the affected area until it has fully healed.
In most cases, the recovery process takes around 7-10 days. During this time, the patient should avoid smoking, using a straw, and drinking alcohol. They should also attend any follow-up appointments with our office to ensure that the healing process is progressing as expected.
Wisdom teeth extraction can provide a range of benefits for teenagers. It can help to prevent impacted teeth, reduce the risk of infection, and prevent tooth decay. The extraction process is relatively straightforward and can be completed in a single office visit. While there may be some discomfort during the recovery process, following a few simple steps can help to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery. If you are considering wisdom teeth extraction for your teenager, be sure to consult with our trusted Las Vegas dentists at Urgent Dental.