December 9, 2017
It’s the beginning of another typical school day. You just finished cooking breakfast and packing your teenager’s lunch when you hear him moan in pain. He walks into the kitchen holding his jaw. “My mouth is killing me” he says.
If your child is reaching towards their late-teens, they may need wisdom teeth removal from their dentist in Allen. To reduce any anxiety and understand the removal process, take a moment and read advice from your dental professional.
Why Wisdom Teeth May Need Removal
When your child is between the ages of 17 and 25, it’s likely their wisdom will start to appear. Typically, human mouths are not capable of housing 32 teeth, so this additional teeth will need to be removed if they fail to erupt properly and become impacted. A tooth becomes impacted when it attempts to erupt but only becomes blocked by a preexisting tooth.
When there is not enough space in the dental arch for wisdom teeth to erupt, it can cause a lot of harm to your child’s oral health. To prevent their remaining teeth from being damaged, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your dentist prior to setting a surgery date. They will take an X-ray to assess its shape, position, and the surrounding bone. Then, they will either set a date for surgery in-office or recommend a specialist if necessary.
What to Expect During Surgery
Wisdom teeth are removed through a process known as wisdom teeth extraction. This process is done either in your dentist’s office or at another location if a specialist is needed. If wisdom teeth have already erupted through the surface of the gums, extraction will be easier and treated like any other tooth.
However, if the wisdom teeth are still underneath the gums, the dentist will need to make an incision through the gums to reach the bone covering the tooth as well as the tooth itself. To make the process comfortable for your child, the dentist will apply a local or general anesthesia during the treatment. Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure regularly done throughout the country, so the risks of complications are very low, and all dentists can perform it properly. To avoid complications or future issues however, you’ll want to take note of the proper post-op precautions.
What to Do During Recovery
After the surgery is completed, your dentist will keep a gauze pad over the operated area. Keep this gauze on for at least 30 minutes before discarding. Avoid touching or rinsing the wound following surgery as this could cause the already formed blood clot to burst and bleed. Be sure to take prescribed pain medications when your child feels discomfort.
You’ll want to plan for at least two weeks of healing time after a wisdom tooth extraction. Plan to restrict any activities the day of surgery to give your child enough time to recover. Swelling commonly occurs for about 48-72 hours after and can be reduced by using ice packs on the affected area for 20 minutes at a time.
Know what to expect during your child’s wisdom tooth extraction. Contact your dentist in Allen today to learn more about the process!
About the Author
Dr. Michael Ryan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University followed by his dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. He also completed a Master of Science degree in Oral Biology and spent an additional 3 years at Baylor completing a dental specialty program in Prosthodontics. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (972) 727-5001 or visit his website.