Wisdom teeth have developed a stigma over the years, and it’s not entirely without good reason. They can be painful and invasive, and wisdom teeth removal is one of the most significant dental procedures young people may have to face in their teens or early adult years. Grant Dental are premier providers of wisdom teeth removal and other dental services from Meridian to Boise, with years of experience providing safe and comfortable family dentist care. Before you or your child heads in for wisdom teeth, though, it’s good to know a few of the basic facts about them.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are technically molars – the third and final set of molars which typically grow in, often between the ages of 15 and 25. They’re located at the very back of the mouth, the toughest place to reach and, more importantly in some cases, to see. For some percentage of people, wisdom teeth grow in normally and with no issues, and they become valuable teeth which can help with some of the toughest chewing jobs. For many others, though, wisdom teeth can create all sorts of issues that force them to be removed for the sake of gum and tooth health.

Why are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

There are several complications caused by misaligned or badly grown-in wisdom teeth.

  • Positioned horizontally, not vertically
  • Angled inward or outward
  • Impacted – grown within soft tissue or the jawbone, and can break through the gum. This is called eruption, and can cause bacteria to enter and cause infection

Each of these conditions can lead to symptoms from minor to severe pain, and also can include elements like tumor formation, infection and long term issues with tooth growth and bite. Due to the common rate of replacement that’s needed in the average human, removal of wisdom teeth is almost always recommended if even mild to moderate symptoms begin to crop up.

What is the Procedure and Recovery Like?

Wisdom teeth removal is often done under full anesthesia, though some people choose local anesthesia. This is typically a process that’s scheduled well in advance. Severity of the wisdom tooth issue is the biggest variable to determine both the length and intensity of the removal procedure and the recovery time. Wisdom teeth might be at a wide range of stages in their development when they’re removed, and some may be erupted through the gum or angled in particularly tough locations. These factors can impact how easy or difficult it is for your dentist to remove your particular wisdom teeth. From here, this can often impact recovery time and the severity of symptoms. Most people experience some or all of the following symptoms, with varying levels of intensity:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Inability to eat solid foods for a few days
  • Dry socket – the most common moderate to major complication, a dry socket occurs when blood clots fail to form or become dislodged from the extracted tooth socket they’re trying to repair. Dry sockets will require treatment from your dentist or surgeon
  • Paresthesia – a very rare complication where wisdom teeth removal damages nerves near the teeth, resulting in numbness that may be temporary or permanent

The time it takes to recover will vary from person to person, but it usually takes a couple weeks for you to be fully symptom-free. Want to learn more about wisdom teeth removal or any of our other family dentist services? Our friendly staff at Grant Dental is awaiting your call.

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