Wisdom teeth: most of us have them, and few of us can use them. What’s the best way to proactively deal with these teeth? Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst wisdom teeth dentists…
Your wisdom teeth are your third set of molars; most patients have upper left, lower left, upper right, and lower right wisdom teeth. Because these teeth erupt later than other adult teeth, they can put an enormous amount of pressure on your existing smile. Additionally, because wisdom teeth often fail to fully emerge from the gum tissue, they are very difficult to keep clean, and cavities in these teeth are quite common.
Prompt wisdom tooth extraction can help you avoid oral health complications like cavities, gum disease, and dental misalignment. Some patients have wisdom teeth that emerge fully from the gum tissue; these teeth can often be pulled just as we would pull any other teeth. If, however, your wisdom teeth are impacted, or stuck, in the jawbone tissue, we will need to surgically remove them.
The goal of wisdom tooth removal is to extract the unnecessary third molars, and then allow your jaw and gum tissue to heal naturally. This is why, as much as possible, you want to refrain from disrupting the surgical site. You don’t, for example, want to vigorously brush this area with a toothbrush, or even aggressively gargle water or mouth rinse.
It takes most patients a couple of weeks to get back into their regular routines post-extraction. Your dental team may prescribe medications to help you manage discomfort in the meantime, and you can always apply an icy compress to the outside of your cheek/jaw to numb the area.
If you have additional questions about treating and extracting wisdom teeth, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation with our team, please reach out to our Elmhurst dentists by phone or through the Contact Us page on our website. We are here to help you make the best decisions possible for your smile!