All About Wisdom Teeth
We’ve all heard the saying, “with age, comes wisdom.” This is also true when it comes to our mouths. Our wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that erupt through our gumline in our late teens and early twenties, making it easier to process all of that extra pizza and soda that we consume as we study for college finals, or they can be our biggest headache if they are not primed to come in correctly.
When wisdom teeth are aligned and come through gum tissue correctly, they can be an asset to you in terms of chewing and properly processing food as it passes through your mouth. However, if there are issues with space, alignment, or impaction--a painful condition where teeth remained trapped beneath the surface of gum tissue---they may need to be removed.
Your qualified dental professionals will monitor the health and alignment of your mouth via x-rays, and will look for signs of the following:
Wisdom teeth that are not in the right position. Misaligned teeth can become a breeding ground for bacteria when food particles become stuck in these dark and moist places.
Wisdom teeth that have not come in correctly, and are fitting too tightly against teeth. The tight position of teeth in the back of the mouth makes it difficult to floss between back molars and wisdom teeth, making cavity development more likely.
Wisdom teeth that have only partially cut through gum tissue. Open gum tissue leaves you susceptible to infections via bacteria that enter this delicate and vulnerable tissue. Infection may quickly spread and lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness throughout your whole jaw.
Wisdom teeth that are impacted. Impacted teeth can form cysts on or near teeth that are in proximity, and this could potentially damage root and nerve tissues as well as compromise bone strength in the jaw surrounding this area, making it difficult for the jaw to hold teeth in place.
More often than not, our wisdom teeth do not align themselves correctly when they are still within our gum tissue, and we will need to make preparations to alter or remove them in order preserve and maintain the health of our mouth, teeth, and gums.
What is involved in removing wisdom teeth?
A wisdom tooth that has erupted through gum tissue can be easily removed, much like any other tooth, with minimal discomfort and little downtime. If a wisdom tooth is embedded in gum tissue or the jaw bone will require more a more intensive procedure to remove it. An incision is made along the gumline, and if necessary, small parts of bone are removed in an attempt to get to the tooth that would otherwise adversely affect your health. Generally speaking, the more invasive the procedure, the more measures are put in place for your comfort and postoperative care. Use of local anesthetic, nitrous oxide, and even sedation are used to make the experience as pain-free as possible.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Depending on how invasive your procedure was, you should be able to resume most activities such as chewing, brushing, etc. within the first 24 hours. Treat any discomfort with pain reliever, and be sure to contact your dentist if you experience bleeding or drainage lasting longer than a few days. In certain situations, you may notice slight facial swelling along the jawline; applying a cold pack to affected areas should minimize the effect of swelling on your appearance.
Is wisdom tooth removal covered under insurance?
Most insurance plans cover wisdom tooth extraction under preventative care. Check in with your dental insurance provider to see if you need to pre-certify services and if you will be responsible for any out of pocket expenses, so you are not surprised on the day of the procedure.
Dr. Krueger--The perfect combination of wisdom and experience
The talented team of dental professionals at Dr. Gordon E. Krueger, DDS, MS, PA are waiting to attend to all of your wisdom tooth needs. If you find yourself in need of an extraction, or you merely want a consultation to determine what your care plan will be regarding your wisdom teeth, they are prepared to handle any questions and concerns you have. Visit https://www.gordonekruegerdds.com today to uncover your most vibrant and healthy smile!