We’ve all heard the term “wisdom teeth”, but often the first thing that comes to mind is that they’re really not quite so “wise”. The truth is, healthy wisdom teeth can be very helpful in helping you chew, however, when they become impacted, complications may arise.

Wisdom teeth make their appearance between the ages of 17-25 years old. For some people, no complications arise, however, for others, if there’s not enough space for them to surface, problems may develop. Some of these may include:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Damage to other teeth
  • Cysts
  • Inability to floss between back teeth

How will you know if your wisdom teeth need to be removed? By visiting Hanson Dental every six months, our dentists will be able assess if your wisdom teeth have overstayed their welcome, before painful complexities develop. Through examination and the use of digital x-rays, we’ll be able to evaluate your particular needs.

If our dentists do recommend removal of your wisdom teeth, here’s what you can expect. We will likely refer you to an oral surgeon to have them extracted. Of course, we encourage you to ask questions beforehand. The surgery will take less than one hour, and you may or may not require anesthesia, depending on your particular case. You’ll likely need to have someone drive you home after the surgery, and you may have minor swelling for several days. As your mouth will be especially sensitive, you’ll want to ensure you’re eating softer foods, such as soups or yogurt. Ice packs may help to reduce swelling as well as bruising that may occur.

After surgery, avoid crunchy foods that require extensive chewing, and sucking beverages through a straw, which may cause “dry socket”. This can cause severe pain due to increased exposure to air or food. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid smoking. Your oral surgeon’s care team will provide extensive directions for the best care to keep you on the road to recovery.

Our Hanson Dental team provides dental care essential to your overall health from general family dentistry to advanced dental care in the Buffalo, MN area. By scheduling frequent preventive care visits, we’ll be able to help you keep your smile not only beautiful, but healthy, too!

“What Is Dry Socket? And, How You Can Avoid It.” PatientConnect,
“Wisdom Teeth.” Mouth Healthy TM, www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/wisdom-teeth.
“Wisdom Teeth Removal (Extraction): What to Expect, Recovery & Pain.”
WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/oral-health/wisdom-teeth-adult#1

Image credit: Vladru / iStock / Getty Images Plus