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Wisdom Teeth - What You Need to Know About Removal

Posted on 3/15/2024 by Giri Palani
When those pesky wisdom teeth rear their ugly heads, you may be left wondering what your options are. Should you get them removed? And if so, what's the best course of action?

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the four molars that usually erupt in your late teens or early twenties. They're the last teeth to come in, and they're often referred to as "third molars" because they're located behind your second molars.

Why Might Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth may need to be removed for a variety of reasons, including:

•  Impaction: Wisdom teeth can become impacted, meaning they're unable to fully erupt through the gums. This can lead to pain, swelling, and infection.
•  Crowding: Wisdom teeth can crowd other teeth, causing them to become crooked or misaligned.
•  Decay: Wisdom teeth are often difficult to clean, which can lead to decay.
•  Gum disease: Wisdom teeth can also contribute to gum disease, which is a serious infection of the gums.

When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth should be removed if they're causing problems or if there's a high risk of them developing problems in the future. Your dentist will be able to assess your wisdom teeth and make a recommendation about whether or not they should be removed.

What's the Process for Removing Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are typically removed in a surgical procedure. The procedure is usually done in a dental office or outpatient surgical center.

During the procedure, your dentist will:
•  Administer anesthesia to numb the area around the wisdom teeth.
•  Make an incision in the gums and bone to expose the wisdom teeth.
•  Remove the wisdom teeth.
•  Close the incision with stitches.

Recovery from Wisdom Tooth Removal

After wisdom tooth removal, you may experience some pain, swelling, and bleeding. Your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to care for the surgical site and relieve pain.
Most people recover from wisdom tooth removal within a few days. However, it may take up to two weeks for the swelling and pain to completely subside.
If you have any questions about wisdom teeth or wisdom tooth removal, be sure to talk to your dentist.

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