Wisdom teeth are the upper and lower third molars, located at the very back of your mouth. They are the last teeth to surface in the mouth. They are called wisdom teeth because they usually come in when a person is 17 to 21 years old—old enough to have gained some "wisdom."
Some people never develop wisdom teeth. For others, they may erupt normally – just like your other molars did – and cause no problems. However, in many cases, as wisdom teeth grow in, they become impacted and fail to emerge due to a lack of adequate jaw space. If they do grow, they may end up crowding out your other teeth, affecting your natural dental alignment.
Wisdom teeth removal is often suggested when:
Wisdom teeth removal is necessary when suggested. Otherwise, wisdom teeth can cause swelling, gum soreness, infection and acute pain. Impacted teeth are very difficult to clean and as such, are vulnerable to tooth decay, cysts and may even damage the surrounding bone structure.
To prevent potential future issues with Orthodontic treatments, wisdom tooth removal is sometimes suggested even if the impacted teeth aren’t currently posing a problem.
Before any tooth removal, your dentist will take x-rays. This may have been done at a previous appointment to determine the need of removal, but more may be required again later. You’ll meet with the oral surgeon to talk about the removal process. At this appointment, make sure you talk about any health problems you have, what type of anesthesia you can receive and what medications you might be using.
A wisdom tooth extraction is almost always performed as an outpatient procedure. This means that you go home the same day.You'll receive instructions from the dental clinic staff on what to do before the surgery and the day of your scheduled surgery. Here is a little overview:
The typical recovery window for wisdom tooth removal is 3-4 days. Although, it can take up to one week to completely heal. The recovery period is largely dependent on how badly your wisdom teeth are impacted, as well as the angle they are growing. The mouth and gums heal incredibly quickly, so if you follow the simple instructions provided by your dentist then you should have no problems.
For the first 2 hours after surgery, you should avoid unnecessary talking, eating, and drinking to allow the area time to clot. After this drink plenty of fluids and stick to soft foods for the first 24 hours. You shouldn’t brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth for 12 hours after the procedure, and avoid the area of removal when brushing for a few days.