In most cases, a patient’s third molars (more commonly known as the “wisdom teeth”) start emerging from the gum line somewhere between the ages of 16 and 24. However, this late arrival isn’t exactly a happy occasion for teenagers and young adults. These teeth are notorious for causing potentially serious oral health problems, which is why wisdom tooth extraction is often recommended by Dr. Lance Anderson and Dr. Tate Anderson here at Greybull Dental. Our goal is to preserve oral health, protect confident smiles, and help patients live happier lives through dedicated treatment.
Although wisdom tooth extraction isn’t always a necessity, there are several dangerous consequences that can occur in younger patients if they’re left in place. Our team may recommend removal for the following reasons:
In order to identify these potential concerns as soon as possible, we will use digital X-rays and state-of-the-art Cone Beam imaging to keep an eye on the development of wisdom teeth within the jaw and pinpoint any worrisome symptoms right away.
In many cases, our dentists will want to remove the wisdom teeth before they actually erupt to minimize damage. This will require surgical extraction, which involves the creation of a small incision in the gum tissue. The tooth itself will be removed as gently as possible with modern tools, and the treatment site will be properly closed with the help of dissolvable sutures.
In the immediate aftermath, we strongly encourage the patient to rest when possible, take prescribed pain medication, and rest with their head elevated instead of lying flat. Bleeding is very normal, and it can be alleviated by gently biting on gauze pads and changing them at regular intervals. The use of an ice pack can help reduce any facial swelling that may occur; rinsing the mouth with warm salt water can also help reduce lingering discomfort. We strongly encourage a diet of soft foods in the first few days. Overall, the recovery period typically only lasts around a week.