There is growing debate over the topic of wisdom teeth removal. For many years, we have removed most individual’s wisdom teeth during their teen years as a preventive measure to keep their mouth healthy. Now, some professionals argue that wisdom teeth are best left alone unless problems arise. This is an important discussion to have with your dentist, who can talk about your specific situation.
Wisdom teeth are often located far enough back in the jaw to make them problematic. They will often push on other teeth, become infected themselves, and can even form an abscess. In some cases, the teeth are so far back in the jaw that they are unable to come at all. This can be painful. The teeth are often removed before any of these issues arise as a way to prevent the problems before they occur.
In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed during the late teenage years. This is about the time that they would normally erupt through the gums. This does not mean that they must be removed at that time, though. With x-rays, the dentist will be able to get a good look at the placement and alignment of your wisdom teeth.
The dentist can use that information, along with your medical and dental health history, to determine the best course of action for you.
Many dentists will refer you to an oral surgeon to have your wisdom teeth removed. It is considered a safe and short surgery that is usually done in less than an hour. Sometimes the procedure is done using only local anesthesia, while other times IV sedation or even general anesthesia is used.
You should discuss your sedation preference with your dental professional before the procedure. You will want to stick with soft foods and lots of liquids for the first day or two. Be sure to follow your doctor’s specific guidelines to heal quickly.