Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third molars that appear in the back of the mouth at approximately 18-21 years of age. As long as wisdom teeth fully break through the surface of the gums and do not overly crowd the mouth, they can remain and function just as any other teeth.

Problems occur when wisdom teeth remain partly covered by gum tissue or are poorly aligned. In these cases, it may be best to remove the wisdom teeth to avoid infection and large cavities from forming.

Treatment

Treatment options vary on a case by case basis. Some wisdom teeth are removed early as a preventative measure, while others are allowed to remain in the mouth until symptoms arise. Routine treatment can be performed in our office. Patients who wish to be fully asleep during the procedure, or have a more complicated case may be referred to a specialist.

Procedure

The procedure can be performed with a local anesthetic or under mild sedation. When the local anesthetic is complete pressure will be applied to the gums with a blunt instrument to ensure numbness. The teeth will be removed with as little pressure as possible, and all areas will be stitched for ease of healing. Some pain, oozing, swelling and even bruising is normal; patients will be sent home with gauze sponges, antibiotics and pain killers. Patients should expect to be able to return to work after 2-3 days.

What Can I Expect After Surgery?

You will be sent home with gauze sponges along with a prescription for pain killers and antibiotics. Bite on the gauze for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off to stop any residual bleeding. A warm, moist tea bag works great to help stop bleeding due to the tannic acid. Some oozing is considered normal. If you are concerned please call our office.

It’s normal to expect some pain, swelling and even bruising after surgery. Pain and swelling are most noticeable on the second day. After that, the area will heal and the pain will diminish. Bruising will take up to a week to subside. Older individuals are more prone to bleeding, and may heal slower.

Two to three days are normally required for recovery after which you’ll be able to return to work or school.