Wisdom Teeth Removal: Know Before You Go
If you still have your wisdom teeth, you might be among the lucky ones. But, most people need to have the third molars removed, and wisdom tooth extraction requires oral surgery. Therefore, if
How Necessary Is Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Oftentimes, there isn’t sufficient jaw space for wisdom teeth to erupt properly. Because there is not enough room, these last teeth either emerge at an angle or simply do not grow in fully. This can cause major problems for the entire oral cavity.
The third molars can easily damage the adjacent second molars if they don’t grow in straight. It is common for dentists to recommend wisdom tooth extraction before these teeth compromise oral health.
Why Don’t We Have Room for Wisdom Teeth?
Human beings used to have wider jaws. The narrowing isn’t due to evolution, but more so because of the foods we eat. The modern diet lacks specific key nutrients that encourage proper jaw growth and development.
In particular, Vitamin K2 aids with calcium absorption in the bones. Grass-fed animal products, liver and organ meats are rich in K2, not corn or grain-fed meats. Most of us are not raised eating these foods. In addition, the low-fat food trend and factory farming have basically eliminated K2 from the modern diet.
For those reasons, underdevelopment of the bottom third of the human face has become normal. Our ancestors who ate a more primitive diet had stronger jaw lines able to house all 32 straight teeth.
What to Ask at The Consultation
- Do all of my third molars need to be extracted?
- What types of anesthesia are offered?
- What are the possible complications with wisdom teeth removal surgery?
- How difficult is my case compared to other wisdom tooth removals?
- What are the surgical risks?
- Will my face get puffy? How long will it be until my appearance is normal and I can return to school or work?
- What will happen if I don’t have my wisdom teeth removed?
What’s the Best Time to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed?
The optimal time to get extract wisdom teeth is before the roots are fully developed. After this time, the procedure is more difficult. Teeth develop from the crown to the root. If you get a tooth extraction before root development, it is an easier surgery with shorter recovery time.
For many patients, summer is the ideal time to get wisdom teeth removed, when they have breaks from school or vacation time from work.
How Long Is Wisdom Teeth Recovery Time?
It usually takes about a week to recover after wisdom tooth surgery. Some patients heal faster, in as little as four days in cases without impaction or other complications.
Individual recovery times vary, depending on:
- Local or general anesthesia
- Quality of nutrition
- Dry socket prevention
Many patients delay recovery for multiple weeks by not following post-surgery instructions such as not elevating the head, sipping with a straw, or brushing teeth right after the procedure.
Who Should Perform a Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
It is best to stick with an oral surgery specialist. While many general dentists are trained and skilled at removing wisdom teeth, this is not their expertise. An oral surgeon performs complex tooth removal procedures all the time, they know the ins and outs and will be able to handle anything unexpected.
How to Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Wisdom tooth extraction is a same-day procedure, so there is no need for an overnight stay. Here are some important questions to ask your dentist or specialist prior to the surgery:
Do you perform bone grafting?
For patients over the age of 25, bone shrinkage can occur which will make the adjacent second molar more sensitive to sweets and cold after surgery. Bone grafting prevents this from happening.
Will I need a ride home?
Most patients arrange to have someone drive them home, but it all depends on the type of anesthesia you receive.
Is fasting required before surgery? If so, how soon before the procedure?
It is recommended that you eat a light meal a few hours before receiving local anesthesia. For all other types, it is best to arrive with an empty stomach.