If you’re a young adult and you’ve been told that you need to have one or more of your wisdom teeth extracted, you might at first be surprised, especially since most people associate this type of professional tooth removal with a person’s teenage years.
But once you understand more about these very important teeth – and their timing in making their presence known – the mention of wisdom teeth removal in Sacramento might not be so alarming to you.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the average age for wisdom teeth to appear is between the ages of 17 and 21, with a couple of years of wiggle room tacked on to the end. However, it’s not uncommon to see these third molars (another name for wisdom teeth) requiring extraction in later years.
The primary difference between having them removed at a younger age versus an older age has to do with the root formation of the tooth. Anatomically, when wisdom teeth are first erupting, there is less root formation. This makes the extraction process simpler to perform.
However, as a person gets older, the roots of their third molars will become more developed. Although this will result in a more complicated surgical procedure needing to be performed, it is still considered a safe and routine surgical tooth extraction.
For some people, they may never be bothered by their wisdom teeth. They may stay tucked safely in their jaws and never pose a problem. Still, others may not have any wisdom teeth at all. In fact, some recent studies have shown that as much as 35% of the population lack the genetic link to form wisdom teeth. One way for you to know the status of your own third molars is to make a wisdom teeth appointment with a Sacramento dentist and ask for an x-ray to be taken.
However, if you want to know whether or not some of the oral discomforts you are currently experiencing might be linked to your wisdom teeth, the most common signs include pain and swelling, jaw stiffness, headaches, and cysts that have developed around the gum line.
What’s important to note here is that some of these symptoms could also be signaling that other conditions are at play. For example, jaw stiffness and headaches can be a symptom of tooth grinding or TMJ. And the presence of cysts could be a sign of oral cancer.
The takeaway about symptoms is that there is no shortcut to diagnose oral discomfort. Ignoring the condition could make matters worse. Instead, book an appointment with a dentist near you in Sacramento like New Essence Dentistry for a complete dental exam and treatment plan. If it’s found that wisdom tooth extraction is necessary, the following information will be helpful in preparing for your oral surgery.
Although every patient will be different when it comes to their oral surgery, it’s most common for patients to need up to two days after the extraction process for complete healing. That’s one reason that Friday is a very popular day for the procedure.
Your oral surgeon will provide you with complete post-op instructions, but some of the things that you can do to plan include making sure that you have plenty of soft foods on hand. Sure, you may think it’ll be easy enough to run through a drive-through for an ice cream or a milkshake, but there’s also a good chance you won’t even feel like driving.
Also, it’s recommended that you not have anything energetic on your to-do list. Some of you reading this may think that having two days off work means you’ll have time to deep clean your house or perform some other physical task need to be reminded that this two-day rest period is meant for exactly that!
Your post-op instructions will most likely include information about bleeding – which is common and expected – and how to treat it at home with gauze bags or moistened tea bags. The instructions may also include information about possible nausea and vomiting – either from the sedation that was used or from the pain pills that were prescribed – and when it should be escalated to a dental emergency.
Remember, your mouth, your body, and your reaction to medical procedures will be different from anyone else’s. For that reason alone, take time now to learn all that you can from your Sacramento dentist about what to expect from your wisdom tooth extraction.