Most people are born with four wisdom teeth. These back molars don't always fit in the jaw. When there is not enough space for them to erupt, they can become impacted or try to erupt sideways. This can cause pain and headaches, and it can also push the other teeth out of alignment. As such, it is not uncommon for dentists to suggest that people have their wisdom teeth removed. Here are some questions you might have if your dentist recommends wisdom tooth removal for you.
How will they get the tooth out if they can't see it?
If your wisdom tooth is not yet visible above the gum line, your dentist can still remove it. They will have to make an incision in your gums, locate the tooth, and use surgical instruments to pull the tooth out. Sometimes the tooth will need to be fractured into a few pieces before it can be removed. This may sound painful, but if you need this level of care, your dentist will likely recommend heavy sedation or even anesthesia during your wisdom tooth extraction. So, you won't feel anything or even know what's going on during the procedure.
Do they have to remove all of your wisdom teeth?
It depends. If only one or two of your wisdom teeth are causing problems, you may only need to have those ones removed. However, many people who have trouble with their wisdom teeth do have trouble with all four, so it's pretty common for all four to be removed at the same time.
Will you be able to eat after the procedure?
You will want to stick to soft foods for a few days, but you'll be able to eat. People are often surprised by how quickly they are able to return to a normal diet after wisdom tooth removal. You can expect to be eating most foods within about a week. It may take two or three weeks before you eat really crunchy or chewy things.
How can you control the pain?
When healing from wisdom tooth removal, your doctor will have you rinse your mouth with salt water every few hours. This will help reduce the inflammation, which will, in turn, help ease the pain. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever like naproxen. Most people find the pain relatively easy to manage with these protocols.
Reach out to a dentist if you need more information about wisdom teeth removal.