How do I know when to have my wisdom teeth pulled?

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Posted May 23rd, 2021 in Surgery

Considering when to get your wisdom teeth pulled? Our Thornhill dentists offer some tips about signs that your wisdom teeth should be removed.

What are wisdom teeth?

Most of us will have a third set of molars emerge somewhere between the ages of 17 and 25. These are known as wisdom teeth. Provided they are straight and healthy when they erupt, wisdom teeth will typically pose no serious problems and will be generally harmless. However, if your wisdom teeth are misaligned when they come in, or cannot erupt completely, dental surgery may be recommended so your dentist can remove your wisdom teeth. 

When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Your dentist can help preserve your oral health by removing problematic wisdom teeth. This can also prevent dental issues in the future. In some cases, a patient will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted prior to having another procedure such as corrective jaw surgery, so their wisdom teeth won't be in the way. 

Ideally, we'll remove wisdom teeth before they cause discomfort or pain, and before infection has an opportunity to develop. Even if your wisdom teeth aren't causing you pain, they may still eventually cause crowding, which can lead to tooth decay. This is because crowded teeth can be difficult to clean properly. 

You'll want to schedule your wisdom teeth extraction in advance, and allow a few days of recovery time.

What age do most people have their wisdom teeth removed?

Typically, it’s ideal to have wisdom teeth removed around the age of 18. This is because the tooth roots haven’t completely formed and hooked to the jaw bone. Once this happens, the procedure and recovery process can be more difficult.

Signs you need to have your wisdom teeth removed

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist, as your wisdom teeth could be causing problems:

  • Sinus problems
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath (caused by plaque bacteria collecting on the wisdom teeth, or infection)
  • Pain in teeth or jaw
  • Difficulty eating
  • Gum inflammation
  • Facial swelling (caused by impacted wisdom teeth that remain below the gum surface)
  • Misaligned wisdom teeth

Is it painful to have your wisdom teeth removed?

Tooth extractions are far less painful today than ever before, due to the use of sedatives and anesthetics. In many cases, patients who have wisdom teeth pulled experience little to no discomfort, and perhaps only minor bleeding.

Before the tooth is extracted, the area around the tooth will be numbed with an injectable or topical anesthetic to ensure comfort.

Once your dentist has removed the tooth, he or she will discuss tooth replacements options with you. These may include bridges or dentures.

How long does recovery from wisdom teeth removal take?

At Dentistry on Green Lane, we offer dental sedatives, including nitrous oxide and oral sedation so the procedure is as comfortable as possible for patients.

Expect to be in and out of your appointment in about an hour. Recovery takes a few days, with some potential discomfort and swelling within the first 2 to 3 days.

During healing, eat soft foods, refrain from strenuous physical activity, and follow your dentist’s advice and post-care instructions. If you do these things you should have a smooth recovery process.

Wondering when you should have your wisdom teeth extracted? Our Thornhill dentists can provide advice on whether your wisdom teeth should be extracted. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Request Appointment

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