You’ve probably heard the saying “with age comes wisdom.” Literally speaking, wisdom teeth usually grow out by the time you’re in your late teens or early 20s. Today, your reliable dentist from Loveland Dental Group discusses the things you need to know about them.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars, completing your dental arch. They help you thoroughly chew your foods. One wisdom tooth erupts on each back side of your lower and upper jaws, which often takes place during your early 20s or late teens.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Often Removed?
As you reach this age, your pediatric dentist may start assessing if your dental arch has enough space for your wisdom teeth. If not, your wisdom teeth may grow out misaligned, causing other dental problems. For one, they may push your second molars that may result in poor alignment of neighboring teeth. This may also cause jawbone or nerve damage.
Your wisdom teeth may also become impacted, which means they only partially break through your gum. Being partially enclosed by your soft tissues, this makes it difficult to clean your wisdom teeth. As a result, bacteria may eventually grow, leading to tooth decay and gum diseases.
What Happens in a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Before anything else, we’ll perform a complete dental exam, including taking dental X-rays. For wisdom teeth that have already appeared, we’ll apply a local anesthetic agent and remove them once the medication takes effect. We’ll then place a gauze or cotton ball in the affected area afterward, which you have to bite down for 30 to 45 minutes to reduce bleeding.
If you have impacted wisdom teeth, your orthodontics expert or oral surgeon may incise your gums to have a better view of your molars. We’ll then break them into sections and remove them one by one. You may apply ice packs to your cheeks surrounding the affected area to minimize the swelling. We may also prescribe pain relievers to reduce your discomfort.
For more information about wisdom teeth and their extraction, call us at (704) 312-8889. You may also fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We serve Cornelius, Huntersville and the surrounding North Carolina communities.