Between the ages of 18-22, the last four teeth to grow are usually trying to make their way into alignment with the rest of the teeth. Because they grow when people are reaching adulthood, these teeth are commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Although they are growing and developing underneath the gums, very few people have enough room in their jaws for wisdom teeth to grow fully into place with healthy alignment. Sometimes the wisdom teeth get trapped under the gums, what we call “impacted.” Other times the wisdom teeth grow in partially, but do not come fully through the gums. These conditions commonly damage the other surrounding teeth, create infections in the gums, increase your risk for cavities, and can lead to the development of cysts. Because this is so common, the healthy choice for most people is to have the wisdom teeth removed. During your exam, if it is recommended for your wisdom teeth to be removed, we will take the necessary x-rays and answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure. TFD is a unique family dental practice, due to Dr. Cox’s experience performing wisdom tooth surgeries. 95% of all wisdom teeth are easily removed by Dr. Cox at TFD using anesthetic or sedation.
After the procedure
After your wisdom tooth procedure, we will give you home care instructions and appropriate prescriptions for medications. You should expect to have some soreness, and may need to plan for recovery time before you return to school or work. When the procedure is done on Fridays, most people are able to return to normal activities by Monday. Because of the number of surgeries Dr. Cox performs, TFD is open every Friday.
Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Pulled?
Not always. You only need to have your wisdom teeth extracted if you don’t have enough room for them in your mouth, and they are growing into your mouth improperly.
Most people don’t have room for their wisdom teeth, particularly if they have had orthodontic treatment. This means the wisdom teeth usually grow in at an angle, fail to erupt properly, or negatively affect the nearby teeth. If this is the case, extraction is usually recommended.
However, if you have enough space in your mouth for your wisdom teeth and they erupt properly, they do not need to be extracted. The best way to find out if you need wisdom teeth extraction in Searcy is to schedule a consultation at Today’s Family Dentistry with Dr. Jared Cox.
Does it hurt to have my wisdom teeth extracted?
No. The process of a simple wisdom tooth extraction is very straightforward and takes only a few minutes, and your mouth will be completely numb during treatment. You can even be sedated for your comfort, if you wish.
This means that you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the extraction procedure. You can remain completely comfortable in the dentist’s chair at Today’s Family Dentistry throughout your wisdom tooth extraction appointment.
However, you will experience some discomfort and pain after your teeth are extracted, and your numbing and sedation wear off. Dr. Cox may prescribe you a prescription-strength painkiller to help with your initial discomfort. If so, fill the prescription right away and take it as directed.
If not, you can use medication like naproxen or acetaminophen to help with discomfort. Icing the cheek near your extraction site for 10 minute intervals can also help with swelling and pain. Within 2-3 days, your pain should begin to decrease dramatically.
How Long Does it take to recover from extraction?
The total recovery time is usually between 1-2 weeks for most patients. After about a week, you will no longer experience serious pain or discomfort, and after 2 weeks, your extraction site should be completely healed.
However, you must make sure to pay careful attention to Dr. Cox’s instructions after your extraction procedure. He will provide you with a comprehensive set of recovery guidelines you need to follow to ensure that your mouth heals quickly and properly.
These include things like avoiding spitting forcefully or using a straw for 24-48 hours, since this can dislodge your blood clot and cause “dry socket,” a painful condition that can interfere with proper healing. You also should avoid major physical exertion for at least 2-3 days after your treatment.
You also will need to eat liquid foods and soft foods for up to a week after your treatment, and to avoid brushing the extraction site directly for several days. You can brush your other teeth normally, but you should rinse with salt water for at least the first 48 hours after your extraction to avoid damaging your extraction site.
For more information and to make sure you recover properly from your extraction, consult with the instructions Dr. Cox provides you with after your appointment.