Wisdom tooth removal is common: Americans have upwards of ten million wisdom teeth extracted each year. But even so, many of us know relatively little about this dental procedure and why it may be necessary to extract.

Known medically as your third molars, wisdom teeth are a set of four adult teeth located in the back corners of your mouth. Wisdom teeth grow in usually between ages 17 to 24. When our diet evolved throughout history, so did our jaws.

Now, these teeth can cause overcrowding, cysts, decay, and just general discomfort. For some, their wisdom teeth coming in is not a problem. But for others, it is important to know what your options are.

What happens if I wait to have my 3rd molars extracted?

When wisdom teeth begin to emerge, they can often grow in sideways or crowd your existing teeth.  They can also become impacted into the gum tissue which can lead to infection. If a patient waits too long to have wisdom teeth extracted, these teeth can greatly affect the alignment of teeth and produce moderate facial pain, toothaches, and discomfort. It is usually best to extract wisdom teeth as soon as possible before their roots are firmly established in the jawbone and need oral surgery to remove.

Although tooth extraction is not an exciting idea, waiting on the procedure will only prolong the pain and endanger your oral and overall health.

The following are problems experienced by people for which extraction is the best solution.

  1. They hurt. Any kind of dental pain is never normal and does not bode well for the area in pain. If your wisdom teeth sites hurt, this could mean they are infected or decayed.
  2. The surrounding gums are inflamed. If gums are tender, you probably won’t be able to clean the area thoroughly. You are at risk of infection, which can spread to your healthy teeth.
  3. They are coming in but haven’t erupted because there is no room for them. Cysts and tumors can develop around this area.

What to expect from wisdom teeth extractions

Wisdom tooth extraction typically takes only one dental appointment and followup, with recovery lasting only a few days. The dentist will take precautions to keep you comfortable and make healing easy, so there is nothing to fear about the procedure.

Do wisdom teeth extractions hurt?

The surgery itself shouldn’t hurt, because you will get either local or general anesthesia. It is in the days following surgery that most people experience pain. The amount of discomfort depends on the extent of the surgery, whether or not you use pain medication, and of course, your own pain threshold. But most people experience some level of discomfort for three or more days.

Wisdom teeth removal after care

Wisdom teeth swelling and pain lasts anywhere between 3-4 days and up to a full week. Ice packs help minimize swelling, and your doctor may give you medications to manage pain.

Expect some bleeding after wisdom tooth extraction. Your dentist will give you gauze to bite on to help control the blood.

Our dentist will request that you not eat or drink anything hot, spicy, or hard that can damage the area of removal.

Schedule a wisdom tooth extraction consulation today!

Call us today at ​(915) 263-8333, or send us a message through our Contact Us page. Our dental staff will be more than happy to ask any questions that you have about dental treatment, insurance, or financial option available to you.