Understanding Your Wisdom Teeth
Usually, you will develop four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the jaw. The first adult molar usually breaks through around the age of 6, and is usually referred to as your 6 year molar.
Around the age of 12, the second molar will come in behind the first molar and may be referred to as a 12 year molar.
The age range of when to expect the 3rd molar to come in behind the second molar, is between 17 – 25 or the time when a person should be gaining wisdom, that’s where the term “wisdom tooth” originates.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When a wisdom tooth doesn’t push through the gums into the mouth, it’s referred to as impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can also be fully embedded in the jawbone or may have become partially exposed in the mouth.
Impacted wisdom teeth usually result from inadequate space in the jawbone or when the tooth itself is misaligned, meaning the wisdom tooth is positioned wrong in the jaw. Meaning they are crooked, tilted or angled.
Impacted wisdom teeth and the gums around them may become inflamed, sensitive, infected and painful. They can also compromise the health of your gums, and even contribute to the decay in the second molar.
When You Should Remove Wisdom Teeth
After an evaluation and based on the following, we may recommend the removal of the wisdom teeth.
- If you have persistent pain and swelling of the wisdom tooth area, trouble biting down or chewing, possible swelling of the face or neck.
- If you are getting cavities in the surrounding area or persistent bad breath.
- If during routine x-rays, impacted wisdom teeth can be seen.
Evaluation and Removal Of Wisdom Teeth
After you are evaluated, we may recommend the removal of your wisdom teeth. If removal is needed, we will tailor a treatment plan specific to your needs. After removal, a brief period of observation will be done to make sure you are able to safely go home. Upon leaving, we make a follow up appointment a week or two following removal.
Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQs
How long does the removal take?
No mouth is the same, so every case is different. Often all 4 wisdom teeth are removed at the same time, doing so usually takes about an hour for the procedure.
Do all 4 need to be removed at the same time?
We can create a treatment plan based off the patients needs. Whether that means removing just 2 or all 4.
Do I need to be out for the procedure?
No, it can be done with local numbing or with sedation.
What do I do if I get a dry socket?
A dry socket is when the blood clot at the extraction site dissolves early and leaves the site exposed, causing pain. This usually occurs around the 4th day after removal. If this does happen, call our office and we can create a plan to help get past the pain.
If your wisdom need to be removed, it’s best to take care of it sooner than later. We can look at your xrays and determine whether any, some or all of them need to be removed.