Wisdom Teeth: reasons you should remove them

To some, wisdom teeth can be a real pain, but not having them extracted could be even more of a pain in the mouth!

Getting your wisdom teeth or “Third molars”  removed isn’t nearly as bad as you might think. In fact, the wisdom tooth procedures available today can make getting your wisdom teeth extracted easier than you might imagine. What is a wisdom tooth extraction? It is a surgical procedure to remove one or more of your molars. Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. There are a select few who get to keep their wisdom teeth due to lack of complication or infection, a few that have plenty of room for those extra molars. However, like many, have to have them removed due to a cyst, infection, decay or even the destruction of neighboring teeth.

Complications you may experience with your Wisdom Teeth

Third molars are usually the last set of permanent teeth you get, if at all. They usually appear between the ages of 17-25.

One complication is that Wisdom Teeth can become impacted or trapped under the gums and cause infection and swelling.
Another complication is the wisdom teeth can press against other teeth. This can cause the neighboring teeth to decay, as well as push other teeth together to overlap.
Wisdom tooth pain alone can cause you to have fevers, migraines, and even loss of appetite because your wisdom teeth are coming in at the wrong angle.

What are the risks to getting your wisdom tooth extracted?

After removal, very few may experience dry socket or exposure of bone when the post-surgical blood clot is lost from the site of the surgical wound (socket). This usually happens if you do not follow your doctor’s orders. You should not smoke, drink through a straw, or eat things that may be hard to chew, until your socket is healed.

There is also a rare chance that you will experience an infection in the socket from bacteria or trapped food particles. That is why it is important to take good care of your mouth per doctor’s orders post surgery.

Rarely,  some may have a risk of damage to nearby teeth, nerves, jawbone or sinuses. As this is rare, it is a possibility and should be discussed with your doctor.

What are the risks to keeping your wisdom teeth?

Infection can be painful and when a wisdom tooth procedure is avoided, that infection can get worse and cause other issues. Remember, with infection usually comes pain and fever. Both things, no one wants. Wisdom teeth can also harbor bacteria and disease, as it is difficult to clean them properly. The risk to keeping them a lot of the time outweighs the risk to getting them extracted.

 

Preparing for a Wisdom Tooth Procedure/Extraction

Remember, it is always important to ask questions.

How many wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Will your wisdom tooth removal require an oral surgeon?
What do you need to have with you on the day of the procedure?
What type of anesthesia will you have? Will you be numb or asleep during your surgery?

Make sure to read over all of your instructions and ask questions about anything you are unsure of. You may be required to have a driver, as well as a couple of days rest. Be sure to plan for this!

Wisdom tooth removal may seem like something you can put off for a long period of time, as long as it isn’t hurting. However, you should never wait until you have an infection or are in overwhelming pain before you ask your dentist about their assessment. Remember, you don’t have to keep your wisdom teeth to be wise!

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