If you are preparing for wisdom teeth procedures like an extraction, you’re probably a little bit nervous. Knowing a bit more about what’s going to happen when you undergo any wisdom teeth procedures can help you understand why it’s a good idea and how to make it easier on yourself. Here are some questions and answers to give you the information you need to know.
- Are there a lot of people who’ve had wisdom teeth procedures? Estimates are that almost 70% of people between the ages of 35 and 44 are missing at least one tooth. Many of these teeth extractions are the result of wisdom teeth removal procedures. In fact, wisdom teeth procedures are done on five million people in the United States. It’s an outpatient procedure that is very common and usually has few complications.
- Why do my wisdom teeth have to come out? Wisdom teeth are the third molars at the back of the mouth. These teeth normally don’t appear until a person is in their teens or 20s. In the past, when humans did not have the skill in dental hygiene that we do now, it was very common for people to lose several teeth before their wisdom teeth erupted. There was thus room in the mouth. These days, though, we brush, floss, and see the dentist regularly. Having excellent oral health is not only safer in the long run, but is also a much more comfortable way to live life. In fact the only real issue with having excellent oral health is that there is no longer room in most of our mouths for wisdom teeth to emerge or develop normally.
- Is it a good idea to have my wisdom teeth removed? There are a few people who will not need their wisdom teeth removed, but for most people there are a lot of wisdom teeth extraction benefits. Wisdom tooth removal prevents the teeth from remaining hidden behind the gums where they can cause infections or damage the roots of other teeth. It also prevents them from coming out only partially, in which case they tend to make for themselves an excellent passageway for bacteria to get in and cause infections of the mouth.
- What’s the first step to wisdom teeth procedures? Your procedure will start with a consultation with an oral doctor. The doctor can tell you what to expect, will find out about your medical history, and will tell you about anything you need to avoid in the weeks and days that lead up to your procedure. You may be asked not to eat on the night before, especially if you will be put under general anesthesia. It’s also a smart idea to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your procedure.
- How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth procedures? Individual recovery times will vary, but it should not take more than a few days. Plan to spend the first 24 hours in bed or on the couch, and make sure that you have all the things near you that you want for entertainment. Go ahead and buy soft foods ahead of time. Yogurt, for example, is a great thing to eat. Avoid any food that’s hard, don’t drink or eat anything that’s too hot, and avoid tiny foods like popcorn and nuts which can become lodged in the mouth and cause issues as you recover. It’s also important not to smoke, as the action of pursing your lips and pulling in can cause dry socket: an extremely painful condition.
Having your wisdom teeth removed has a lot of benefits for your future oral health. It’s a common procedure that people all over America undergo every year. If you follow your doctor’s advice, prepare well, take any medications that your given after the procedure, and are careful to avoid certain foods and behaviors for a few days, you can expect a quick recovery.