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Wisdom Teeth FAQs

When you think of wisdom teeth, you likely immediately also think about the importance of their removal from the mouth. But what exactly are these teeth? And how do they affect oral health so much that they need to be extracted?

Your dentist monitors wisdom teeth growth in their patients and will keep them posted on whether they need removal or not. You can better know what to expect when you know more about this process and these specific teeth. Read on to find responses from your Sterling, VA dentist to frequently asked questions about wisdom teeth, their removal, and the procedure to extract them.

wisdom tooth extraction procedure

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth refer to the nickname given to the third set of molars that grow into place usually in early adulthood after puberty, hence the name. Some people have wisdom teeth in all four corners of the mouth, some only a few, and some have no wisdom teeth at all.

In some cases, wisdom teeth can grow without hurting the surrounding teeth, but usually, wisdom teeth come with complications. Your dentist will monitor the growth of these teeth using x-ray imaging taken during a routine dental check-up. When you maintain good preventative care by attending these appointments, you can have a good idea of the status of your wisdom teeth.

Why Do I Need Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Many people do not have room in their mouths for wisdom teeth when they grow in. This can lead to overcrowding of your other teeth. They may then shift out of position and grow crooked, which can disrupt the look of your smile and make it difficult to keep your teeth clean and healthy. A dentist can see early signs of this disturbance and intervene before they cause too much damage to your smile.

More commonly, wisdom teeth might become impacted as they attempt to grow. This occurs when the teeth get blocked and cannot break through the gum line. You can feel extreme pain and have a heightened risk for infection in this case. So a dentist will intervene and extract the wisdom teeth.

What Can I Expect During a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

You might feel nervous about undergoing dental work to remove your wisdom teeth. But your dentist will prioritize your comfort during this tooth extraction procedure. If you need more than one tooth removed, the dentist can complete this within one session.

You will receive both sedation and local anesthetic to induce relaxation and block pain signals respectively during this procedure. Then the dentist makes a small incision to access the tooth, removes the tooth, and uses stitches to seal the surgical site.

You can anticipate some downtime for the first few days after you return home from this dental procedure. It can take a week or two to fully recover from this oral surgery. Follow aftercare instructions from your dentist to manage pain and ensure a quicker and more effective recovery.