Removal of your wisdom teeth may be recommended, as leaving those teeth in place can cause problems. Wisdom teeth are generally not needed. Over time, as the average jaw size has decreased with each generation, many patients don’t have room for wisdom teeth. That is why we may recommend wisdom teeth removal in Humble, TX.
The Last Ones to the Party
Wisdom teeth are generally the last of all your teeth to form and to erupt. By this time, your other teeth are usually already in place. Therefore, the movement of the wisdom teeth can crowd the teeth which are already there, and there is little to no space left for the wisdom teeth to come in.
When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth tend to move into place as early as 15, but each patient is different. Wisdom teeth may erupt at different ages for other patients, sometimes as late as 25. Wisdom teeth don’t generally start to come in until you’re between 16 and 18 years of age.
It may be beneficial to remove wisdom teeth early when possible. When you’re younger, around age 15, your jaw may heal faster and more effectively than when you’re older. The procedure may also be more manageable in younger patients because the surrounding bone is less dense and the tooth roots are not yet fully formed. Space left behind by the extracted tooth may fill with new bone more effectively than with older patients, and younger patients may generally recover faster from the procedure.
Yet, older patients can’t also have their wisdom teeth removed. They can and often do. The procedure can be safely and effectively performed in both younger and older patients.
What May Happen if I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth can cause several problems, including:
- Gum infection
- Tooth infection
- Tooth decay
The wisdom teeth can crowd the other teeth. When a wisdom tooth is pressing into the side of another tooth, the second tooth can begin to dissolve in addition to being overcrowded.
The wisdom tooth can be covered by or “impacted” by bone or gum tissue when the tooth comes in at an angle, not fully protruding from the jaw bone or gum tissue. When the tooth is partially covered by gum tissue, it can be challenging to clean. Debris can collect under the gum.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain and swelling and complicate the removal process. When the teeth grow at an angle, spaces might form which can trap food. Over time, these spaces can build plaque and other harmful substances. Plaque makes it difficult to clean teeth.
What is the Wisdom Teeth Removal Process?
Wisdom teeth removal is generally performed while the patient is under anesthesia. After the patient is comfortable and ready, the doctor will fold back the gum tissue covering the affected area and possibly remove some bone surrounding the tooth. The dentist can then extract the tooth using specialized tools. The dentist may place a bone substitute in the space left behind by the extracted tooth. Now, the healing process can begin.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From Wisdom Teeth Removal?
In most cases, a wisdom tooth extraction procedure takes just a few hours. It would be best if you planned on having someone available to drive you home from the appointment, as it may take you some time to recover from the anesthesia effects. If possible, you should take it easy for at least a couple of days, resting as often as possible and eating only soft foods such as yogurt and ice cream. Your recovery time could be as long as two weeks.
During recovery, keep the Summer Creek Dental team posted. We want to make sure you’re comfortable during the healing process. Your dentist will monitor any excessive pain. We can recommend methods for keeping you as comfortable as possible during recovery.
Let the Specialists Take a Look
Wisdom teeth removal is a somewhat invasive procedure. There are risks associated with any surgery, so it may make more sense to avoid it, depending on your situation.
It is possible that a wisdom tooth ultimately impacted by bone will not cause any problems and will not need to be removed. It may not be necessary to remove wisdom teeth in other cases. Some patients will have a jaw structure that can support the extra wisdom teeth.
It’s important to have Dr. Tammie Thibodeaux, Dr. Samer Dar, or Dr. Katherine Price at Summer Creek Dental evaluate your situation and make a recommendation. Call today to make a wisdom tooth removal consultation appointment in Humble, Texas! You’ll see the wisdom in our recommendation and the quality of our care.