November 18, 2017
The wisdom teeth are an “extra” set of teeth that usually emerge in late adolescence. Their removal has become so routine that it’s almost a rite of passage during or right after high school. However, some people may have their wisdom teeth removed well into adulthood due to persistent pain, infection, or impaction. Is there a right time to have wisdom teeth extractions? Denver expert Dr. Brian Fangman weighs in below.
The Earlier, the Better for Wisdom Teeth
They say youth is wasted on the young. Kids and teens enjoy smoother skin, nonstop energy, and, yes, faster healing times after surgeries. That’s why a dentist may recommend the removal of wisdom teeth that seem like they are going to cause problems if they emerge — even if they are not currently causing serious issues. At this stage, the recovery is likely to be quick and more comfortable than if it were performed as an adult.
Consider having your child’s mouth examined for the presence of wisdom teeth around the age of 14. A panoramic x-ray will give your dentist an in-depth look to check for the extra teeth. If the third molars appear likely to cause issues upon eruption, preventive extraction may be wise
What Goes Wrong With Wisdom Teeth?
Because there is rarely enough room in the jaw for an extra set of molars, most wisdom teeth cause trouble when they do eventually emerge. Any time the third molars are causing discomfort or have become infected they should be removed, no matter your age. If they are ignored, they may push your surrounding teeth out of alignment or cause a serious infection that threatens your overall health.
Some of the symptoms that indicate the need for wisdom teeth extraction include:
- An aching jaw
- Visibly erupted wisdom teeth
- A foul odor emerging from the wisdom teeth
- Swollen cheeks or gums around the wisdom teeth
- Sensitive teeth
What to Expect From Extraction
Wisdom tooth extraction is performed under local anesthesia and with sedation as needed for additional relaxation. Then, your oral surgeon will open the gum tissue and remove the tooth that is trapped beneath. This procedure will be completed for however many teeth are being extracted. Once the gums are closed, the surgery is complete and recovery begins.
Your oral surgeon will provide specific advice for your recovery, like maintaining a soft foods diet and taking pain medication to alleviate discomfort. Plan to take it easy for the first couple of days after the procedure. Minor bleeding and swelling are normal at first — but if these side effects worsen or do not subside after several days, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your dentist or oral surgeon.
Now that you know why it’s best to have wisdom teeth in Denver removed at a younger age, don’t hesitate to get a consultation for yourself or your teen! Doing so can save serious time and discomfort later on.
About Your Oral Surgeon
Dr. Brian Fangman is an oral surgeon providing services like wisdom tooth extraction and more at Altitude Oral Maxillofacial Implant Center. To learn more about his services or to schedule an appointment for expert care, we invite you to contact your oral surgeon in Denver at 720-328-4990.
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