Millions of patients undergo wisdom tooth extraction every year.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly urges young adults to have their third molars professionally evaluated, and removal is often recommended.
Do you need your wisdom teeth? Why should you consider having yours removed? And what can you expect from the extraction process?
Why Do You Need Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
As the third molars develop, they can cause a host of problems.
They may become impacted — stuck in the gums and unable to erupt. Or they may come in crooked, which can damage the nearby teeth and cause overcrowding in the mouth. If your oral surgeon detects any issues with how yours are coming in, you’ll need to have them extracted.
But what if yours seem to be problem-free?
Oral surgeons and dental experts often take a proactive approach, advising most patients — even those without issues — to have their third molars removed. Studies have shown that patients who opt out of extraction are at an increased risk for developing gum disease.
Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, and has also been linked to serious medical health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.
Types of Anesthesia Used for Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Regardless of the status of your third molars, it’s likely that you’ll need to have them removed. But if you’re like many patients, the thought of oral surgery makes you at least a little nervous.
The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah will work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs — and that definitely includes anesthesia. We offer several different anesthesia options, including oral sedation, nitrous oxide and IV sedation.
So you can rest easy, knowing that you’ll be able to choose the method of anesthesia that helps you feel the most relaxed and comfortable for your wisdom teeth removal procedure.
What Can You Expect After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Recovery from third molar removal depends on the specifics of the oral surgery procedures performed. Most patients begin to heal in three to five days.
You’ll be asked to avoid strenuous activity for the first 48 hours after your extraction, then gradually return to your normal activities over the next several days. In addition, you’ll need to stick to soft foods and avoid tobacco and alcohol.
Complete healing of your gums takes roughly three to four weeks.
Dr. Maxfield and Dr. Partridge at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are board-certified, with the qualifications and experience to safely perform a full range of maxillofacial and oral surgery procedures. Contact one of our Utah offices today to learn more about wisdom tooth extraction.