Why Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
December 18, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

Find out why wisdom tooth removal in Woodbridge, VA is almost always recommended.

If your dentist in Woodbridge, VA has told you that your wisdom teeth are coming in, then we may start talking to you about wisdom teeth removal and when you should come in for surgery.

What are wisdom teeth?

The wisdom teeth are the third molars that often erupt during a person’s late teens or early twenties.Oral Surgery

Do wisdom teeth always need to be removed?

Sometimes wisdom teeth can erupt and grow in properly and healthy, in which case no surgery is necessary; however, the majority of people will need to have their wisdom teeth removed due to misalignment and the possibility for complications that could affect your teeth, jawbone or nerves.

Also, wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they do not fully erupt. This makes it easier for bacteria to get trapped around the wisdom tooth and cause an infection. Impacted wisdom teeth are also more likely to develop gum disease or cavities since it’s harder to brush these teeth properly.

Do I have wisdom teeth?

There are some people who are born without wisdom teeth. However, since we perform routine dental X-rays each year, your Woodbridge, VA dentist will be able to tell you if you do have wisdom teeth and if they need to be removed.

What does wisdom teeth extraction entail?

If the wisdom tooth has fully erupted then removing the tooth is just as easy as any other tooth extraction; however, if the wisdom tooth is impacted, we will need to perform surgery. This is a simple outpatient surgery that is most often performed under conscious sedation. During surgery we will make a small incision in the gums and then remove the bone that lies over the tooth. Then we will begin to extract the tooth in sections. After the wisdom teeth have been fully removed, we will place gauze over the empty tooth’s socket to help with the bleeding.

What should I expect after surgery?

You may experience some facial swelling, which can be easily treated by placing an ice pack on your face for a few minutes at a time for the first 24 hours after surgery. We also recommend the use of over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen to reduce swelling and discomfort. We will also give you a list of foods to avoid and other at-home care instructions to prevent infection or complications. Your stitches may or may not be dissolvable, but your Woodbridge dentist will let you know whether you need to come in to have them removed or whether they will dissolve on their own.

Wisdom tooth removal is quite common. In fact, approximately 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted each year in America. If you or your teen is getting their wisdom teeth removed in Woodbridge and has any questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to give us a call anytime.