According to most dental experts, the best time to have wisdom teeth pulled is between the ages of 16 and 22 because the teeth are still immature and should just barely be coming in. They often don’t begin to emerge until around the ages of 15-25 which is the best time to opt for early removal. When wisdom teeth are removed during this early period, the healing time is significantly lessened. In addition, the procedure will be much easier because the tooth has yet to be fully rooted. As a parent, it’s important to understand the procedure to be able to answer questions and concerns from your teen that’s about to undergo their removal. The following information provides parental insight into having wisdom teeth removed.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
In most cases, wisdom teeth are pulled in the surgeon’s or dentist office. However, if all of the wisdom teeth are being pulled at one time or if there is a high risk for complications, it is likely to have the procedure done at a hospital. In the event there are oral infections, the surgery will be postponed until the antibiotics have healed the infection.
Before the wisdom teeth are removed, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. However, a general anesthetic can be used if several or all of the wisdom teeth are schedule to be removed at one time. Dental experts offer various forms of sedation to make the entire procedure pain-free from medications, gas, or intravenous sedation where doses are adjusted to meet the needs of the patient’s age, weight, tolerance, etc. While a local anesthetic, will numb a region of the body, such as Novocain; general anesthetic causes the patient to sleep through the procedure and will numb the entire body. In any case the night before the procedure, the teen should avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight.
How Is It Done?
In order for a wisdom tooth to be removed, the gum tissue must be opened over the tooth, and any bone covering the tooth is removed. The dentist will then separate the tooth’s connecting tissue to the bone and remove the tooth. In some cases, the dentist cuts the tooth into smaller pieces to simplify the extraction. Afterwards, stitches may or may not be used, and gauze is placed on the wound to help stop the bleeding.
Tips for After the Surgery
Most people recover in a few days from a wisdom tooth extraction. Patients recovering from wisdom teeth removal surgery need to avoid doing anything with their mouth immediately after and rest. In any case, the following tips will simplify the recovery.
• Gently bite on the gauze pad and change the pad when it becomes soaked with blood.
• To prevent the prolonging of bleeding, don’t lay flat. Instead, prop the head up with pillows.
• For the first 24 hours, use an icepack on the outside of the cheek
• Eat softer foods after surgery like soup, gelatin, or pudding.
• Avoid using a straw or smoking for the first 72 hours because it can delay healing by loosening the blood clot.
• To alleviate pain and swelling, rinse the mouth with warm salty water multiple times a day after the first 24 hours.
• Avoid rubbing the area with fingers or tongue and continue carefully brush.
During the ages of 16-22, teenagers are expected to gain wisdom and wisdom teeth. By developing a better understanding of the process, parents will be better prepared to give good sound parental advice about wisdom teeth and recovery support.