Wisdom Tooth Extraction
What To Think About
If your wisdom teeth are not causing problems, it may be difficult to decide whether to have these teeth removed to prevent possible dental problems later in life. Think about the following:
- You may never have any problems with your wisdom teeth.
- It is rarely harmful to your health to have your wisdom teeth removed, but there are slight risks involved with any surgery.
- In younger people (late teens and early 20s), the wisdom tooth's roots are not fully developed and the jaw bone is not as dense, so it is easier to remove the tooth. The easier it is to remove the tooth, the easier your recovery is likely to be.
- Most problems with wisdom teeth develop between the ages of 15 and 25.
- If you are older than age 30, you have only a small risk of having problems with your wisdom teeth. Few people older than 30 develop problems that require removal of their wisdom teeth.
- Medical insurance does not always cover this procedure.
- If you have a medical condition that may get worse over time and your teeth may cause problems, consider having your wisdom teeth removed while you are healthy.
- Possible complications include dry socket (alveolar osteitis), infection, bleeding, and numbness.
Women on birth control pills who decide to have their wisdom teeth removed should try to schedule the surgery for the end of their menstrual cycle (usually days 23 through 28). There seems to be less risk of dry socket during this time.Reference 2
After a wisdom tooth is removed, you may have or notice:
- Pain and swelling in your gums and tooth socket where the tooth was removed.
- Bleeding that won't stop for about 24 hours.
- Difficulty with or pain from opening your jaw (trismus).
- Slow-healing gums.
- Damage to dental work, such as crowns or bridges, or to roots of a nearby tooth.
- A painful inflammation called dry socket.
- Numbness in your mouth and lips after the local anesthetic wears off, due to injury or inflammation of nerves in the jaw. Numbness will usually go away, but in rare cases it may be permanent.Reference 1
Dental surgery may cause bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body. People who have difficulty fighting off infections may need to take antibiotics before and after dental surgery. Such people include those who have artificial heart valves or were born with heart defects.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: September 2, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry