What Are Wisdom Teeth? Definition and Age Range
By the time they turn 13, children should have gained a total of 28 permanent adult teeth. On top of that, four more wisdom teeth may join in too! Typically this happens between 17 and 21 years old for young adults or teens; some even get their wisdom teeth earlier than expected.
Wisdom teeth are the four permanent adult teeth. They are located in the back corners of your mouth on both sides, behind the second molars. Wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to come in and may cause overcrowding or misalignment of other teeth, leading to dental issues.
Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Before discovering why dentists suggest wisdom teeth removal, it’s crucial to understand where precisely these molars are located. Your third set of molars (flat teeth used for chewing food) sit at the rear hinge of your jawbone. By having a better grasp of this information, you can be more informed when speaking with your dentist about potentially removing them!
The emergence of wisdom teeth is a normal part of aging, yet more often than not, the lack of space in your mouth causes them to become “impacted”. This phenomenon affects 90% of those who possess these molars – if they don’t have enough room to fully develop, extraction may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
A lot of dentists think it’s best to remove wisdom teeth while the individual is still young, prior to when their roots and bone are completely developed. The reason is that recovery time is much faster post-surgery at this age than if they were removed later on. As a result, many adults have their wisdom teeth extracted before any issues arise from them not emerging fully.
Teeth Extraction FAQs:
Does It Hurt To Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out?
You don’t need to worry about feeling any pain during your wisdom teeth removal, as the area will be numbed.
Are You Awake During Teeth Extraction?
Here are the most common levels of anesthesia that will be considered for your wisdom teeth removal:
- General Anesthesia: If the wisdom teeth are deeply impacted, the oral surgeon may suggest general anesthesia for the procedure. This means your teen won’t even sense any pain and won’t remember a thing!
- Local Anesthesia: The oral surgeon will ensure that the wisdom tooth extraction is a painless experience with the help of local anesthesia. All it takes is a few injections around the affected tooth to make sure there is no discomfort – only some pressure may be felt during the procedure, which should take mere minutes! The advantage of this procedure is that your teen can go home right away!
- Sedation Anesthesia: With this form of treatment the child remains partially unconscious while still feeling no pain – it is administered by IV with local anesthesia mixed in. As a bonus to the comfort already provided, those who undergo sedation won’t remember anything related to their procedure afterward!
Can you eat after getting your wisdom teeth out?
Your dentist will likely recommend that you stick to a soft foods diet for several days following your wisdom teeth removal. This includes things like pudding, applesauce, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and soups. It’s important to wait until the numbness from the anesthesia wears off before attempting to eat any solid foods.
How Long Does It Take To Heal?
It’s important to note that it may take several weeks for your mouth to heal completely following the removal of wisdom teeth. In the meantime, you can expect some swelling, minor bleeding, and discomfort.
Tips Pre-, During and Post-Operation
• Avoid eating and drinking anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
• Take any medications as prescribed by your dentist or doctor.
• Wear comfortable clothing and a shirt that buttons up to make it easier to access during the procedure.
• Arrange for someone to drive you and stay with you for the rest of the day.
• Remain still and relax as much as possible.
• Follow any instructions from your dentist or doctor.
• Keep your mouth open and remain in the position prescribed by your oral surgeon.
• Don’t swallow while water is being used to irrigate the area.
• Keep your mouth clean by gently brushing around the extraction sites. Do not directly brush the sockets for at least two days.
• Avoid any strenuous physical activity or exercise for a few days post-surgery.
• Stick to a soft foods diet and chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
• Take any medications as prescribed by your oral surgeon or doctor.
• Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
• Use an antimicrobial rinse to keep the area clean and free from infection.
• Keep up with regular dental appointments for follow-up care.
• Follow all instructions from your oral surgeon.
When the surgery is complete, your child will slowly regain consciousness; however, they may still be under the effects of anesthetic and nitrous oxide. Therefore, it’s important for you to accompany them on their journey—even if they are capable of driving themselves home.
The patient may feel like they have cotton balls in their mouth, along with the stitches. To prevent drooling and bleeding, these cotton pieces need to be switched out regularly. Not only that but numbness and some degree of swelling are expected for a few days following the procedure.
At Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry, we are devoted to ensuring the utmost dental care for Utah’s children. If they’re experiencing oral discomfort and have yet to receive their wisdom teeth removed since becoming a teenager, it is essential that you bring them in for an extensive examination right away! Contact us today!