Did you know…wisdom teeth may need to be removed even if they are not yet causing any problems or pain?
It’s true, because of the location of wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth even those that erupt normally may cause problems down the road. They are highly vulnerable to decay over time because many patients find it difficult to clean and floss all surfaces of wisdom teeth way back there. Wisdom teeth are often removed because complications can start to develop in middle to late adulthood if not immediately in adolescence.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
The wisdom teeth are four teeth way in the back of our mouths that are last to break through the gums. It often happens between the ages of 17 and 25. That age range was once considered the time when children became wiser as they entered adulthood, hence the term “wisdom” teeth.
Ideally, wisdom teeth erupt without issue but according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, as many as 9 in 10 Americans have at least one wisdom tooth that is impacted. Even if the teeth all erupt normally, they may cause overcrowding or grow in at an angle that can become an issue down the road.
Many choose to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent infection, crowding, and other complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
You may need your wisdom teeth removed if you have one or more impacted wisdom teeth or if you are having difficulty adequately cleaning those that have emerged. It is recommended that all young adults be evaluated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. A consultation and x-ray can reveal impaction, damage to neighboring teeth, signs of decay, gum disease, or perceived complications with future wisdom tooth eruption.
What should I expect during a wisdom teeth removal?
Most wisdom teeth removals take less than an hour to perform, but you’ll be under anesthesia or sedation to prevent discomfort. Once the teeth are removed, the gums are sutured shut. Keep in mind that you will need a responsible driver to take you home following the extraction, as it will not be safe for you to drive after being heavily sedated.
What do I need to do after wisdom teeth are removed?
You’ll need to keep the area clean and free of debris, like food particles, for a week or so after the wisdom teeth removal. Take all medications exactly as prescribed by Dr. Hinckley and only when necessary. Avoid sucking through a straw for the first several days after surgery, and notify our office, Front Range Oral Surgery, if you experience fever or discomfort that worsens after a few days.
Contact Front Range Oral Surgery
Wondering if your child will need wisdom tooth surgery? The first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hinckley at either our Oral Surgery office in Wheatridge or Dacono, Colorado. Please contact our office by phone or complete the appointment request form so Dr. Hinckley and our team can discuss your situation and find the best option for your child.
Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment.