Wisdom Teeth Removal Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Wisdom Teeth RemovalSo, what exactly are wisdom teeth?  You probably know them as those teeth that people are always getting removed.  Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars that typically show up in the late teenage years or early twenties.  They can occasionally come in healthy and aligned properly, but it’s more common that they are disruptive and require removal.

Problems Caused By Wisdom Teeth

The root of the problems (no pun intended) is that the wisdom teeth are not able to move completely into their correct position, this is called “impacted” wisdom teeth.  Impacted wisdom teeth will come in any way they are able; angled, sideways, or even upside down (okay, upside down is an exaggeration).  They will sometimes show through the gums, whereas others will remain stuck underneath the gum surface and bones – this can cause many complications in the mouth.

Decay

Wisdom teeth that are partially-emerged are not easy to adequately clean, and this often leads to a buildup of bacteria in the plaque that can create cavities to both the wisdom tooth and surrounding teeth.

Cyst Formation

An impacted wisdom tooth can cause the sac around the tooth to fill with fluid, this forms a cyst that can severely impact the surrounding teeth, nerves, and jawbone.

Infected Gums

Similar to decay being caused by a partially-emerged tooth, bacteria can make its way through flaps around the tooth and lead to gum infection.

Crowding and damage

Teeth can easily lose their correct positioning in the mouth when they become crowded.  Crowded teeth tend to wear disproportionately and prematurely, causing damage to the overall structure of the teeth.  Additionally, crowded teeth may become much more difficult to clean and maintain proper dental hygiene.

Do My Wisdom Teeth Require Removal?

The only way to know for certain whether or not you need to get your wisdom teeth removed is by consulting a dentist for regular check-ups and mouth x-rays.  If you wait until they break the gum’s surface and start becoming uncomfortable, you may have already allowed them to damage the structure of your teeth.  Like any medical issues, it’s best to catch potential problems early before they have a serious impact on your health.

At What Age Are Wisdom Teeth Usually Removed?

Most patients have their wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 16 to 19, this age range usually comes before the roots have become rooted to the jawbone.  As we advance in age, it becomes more and more difficult to remove teeth due to our jawbones becoming more dense.

What’s the Procedure Like?

We will perform an examination beforehand, reviewing your medical and dental history as well as analyze your x-rays.  The development of your wisdom teeth will determine the actual procedure itself.

To make the procedure be a smooth and pain-free process, we will use an anesthetic to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.  Many patients are asked to not eat or drink the night before or the morning of the surgery.  You’ll receive very specific instructions before coming in, such as wearing loose-fitting clothing that you’re comfortable in and making sure you have a friend or family member to drive you home following the procedure – you will be far too sedated to operate a vehicle.

You’ll need to come in for a follow-up examination to make sure the healing is going according to schedule and to remove stitches if required.

Are There Any Risks to the Surgery?

There are risks anytime you have a surgery of any kind.  Those risks can be related to bleeding, infection, or the anesthetic used.  Despite the associated risks, wisdom teeth removal is a standard procedure which has benefits that far outweigh any risk.

Healing Process

You’ve probably seen family and friends get “chipmunk” cheeks following the wisdom teeth surgery.  In many cases swelling and discomfort can last a couple days following the surgery.  However, everyone heals differently and you may experience very little or even no noticeable swelling at all.  It’s recommended to use ice packs to help prevent/reduce any swelling as well as manage any pain or discomfort that may come.  We will generally prescribe some pain medication to help dull the pain as well.

To help and accelerate the healing process, you’ll want to avoid eating hard foods for a couple of weeks and stay very hydrated.  Try to not brush the teeth right next to where your wisdom teeth were, that can cause pain and pull out the stitches.  Avoid drinking alcohol immediately following the surgery and be careful to not mix and match pain medications.

Next Steps

If you have wisdom teeth either in your mouth or coming in, or if you want to find out where your wisdom teeth are in the process of coming in, schedule a consult with Canyon Rim Dental today. We will get the proper x-rays to show you exactly what is going on with your wisdom teeth. If you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, we can definitely help with that as well! Give us a call today at (801) 486-3887.