Don’t be alarmed if your dentist recommends that you should have your wisdom teeth pulled. They only recommend wisdom teeth removal for patients who have impacted teeth. If you do have wisdom teeth that have fully grown in but are not causing any crowding or pain, the choice is absolutely yours to have them removed.

When do you need to remove your wisdom teeth?

If your wisdom teeth are impacted and/or causing crowding in your teeth and affecting your bite, your dentist will recommend that you have them removed.

What are impacted teeth?

Impacted teeth are wisdom teeth that do not fully erupt because other teeth are blocking them. They typically remain below the surface of your gum line and lie horizontally instead of standing upright because there isn’t enough room for them to grow. The problems with impacted wisdom teeth are:

  • They create a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria to accumulate which could lead to the development of cavities
  • Impacted teeth can, in some cases, collide with the roots of your molars, which is painful and leads to other more severe dental issues.

What to expect after your oral surgery?

After your wisdom teeth have been removed you will encounter minor bleeding, discomfort, swelling and bruising. You will most likely be prescribed some pain killers for pain relief which you should take exactly as directed by your dentist. If you’re taking stronger narcotic pain medication (i.e. Percocet, Tylenol 3, etc.), do not drive or operate machinery and avoid alcoholic beverages.

Aftercare:

It takes the average person three to four days to heal but, in some cases, it may take up to a week. Proper aftercare after your surgery is important to eliminate the chances of getting dry socket. After a wisdom tooth is removed, a blood clot forms in the socket to protect the bone and nerves underneath. Dry socket occurs when the clot becomes dislodged or dissolves a couple of days after the extraction which leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, fluid, and anything else that enters the mouth, making healing very painful. To eliminate the risk of dry socket, Colgate recommends:

  • Applying ice packs to the outside of your mouth intermittently for up to two days to minimize swelling, bruising or any discomfort
  • Limit your eating, drinking and talking for the first two hours following surgery as well as smoking, spitting or drinking through a straw – essentially anything that may dislodge the blood clot
  • After 12 hours, do a salt water rinse to avoid any infections
  • It’s recommended to not brush your teeth for 24 hours after the surgery and for the next week try to avoid the area where the wisdom teeth were removed as much as possible

If you notice any unusual symptoms, it is best to call your oral surgeon right away. While complications such as an infection are rare, they are possible, so it’s best to be proactive if any of your symptoms feel abnormal. If you have any questions, call any one of our locations to speak to one of our dental specialists.