Why might I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?Often, wisdom teeth don't grow in properly. A tooth is "impacted" if it's prevented from reaching its normal position (say, by obstruction from tissue or another tooth). Impacted teeth can cause problems with chewing or periodontal problems and damage adjacent teeth. A tooth can be partially impacted—it has broken through the surface of the gums but can't grow into a normal position. Dentists can determine which teeth won't grow in properly.
Impacted wisdom teeth may hurt, and they can develop cavities, infections or periodontal disease. It's often when these problems arise (as well as during regular dental exams) that people realize they need to have their wisdom teeth extracted.
Some people never need surgery—their wisdom teeth grow into proper position / the teeth stay in the jawbone & don't cause problems. Others don't need surgery as young adults, but their wisdom teeth may cause problems later in life.
When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?In general, it's best to have wisdom teeth taken out between ages 16 and 22. Like other teeth, wisdom teeth develop in the jawbone. The crown of each tooth is formed first, & it's pushed up when the root of the tooth develops. In young adults, "the formation of the root is not complete, so there are fewer complications & risks."
What's the extraction procedure?You'll be sedated (typically with intravenous anaesthetic). Once you're comfortable, the dentist administers a local anaesthetic. The surgery takes 20 to 30 minutes. Afterward, you'll spend time in the recovery room. Ask a family member or friend to take you home.
Recovery time depends on your age and the degree of tooth impaction; for younger patients, the swelling and discomfort may last three to five days. Your dental professional may prescribe pain medication.