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Do you have to have wisdom teeth removed?

young woman with beautiful smile on grey wallHaving wisdom teeth coming in is just one more sign that your kids are growing up – but unlike getting their driver’s license or having hours added to their curfew, it probably isn’t something they are looking forward to. You may be wondering if wisdom teeth even have to be removed at all, or can they be left alone to avoid the pain and hassle of oral surgery? Read on for some information about wisdom teeth!

Is it time to have wisdom teeth removed?

Everyone is different, of course, but it is quite possible your dentist may recommend you have your wisdom teeth removed even if they aren’t causing you pain or problems yet. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, and your mouth is already crowded with teeth. This can cause the teeth to grow in at an odd angle (known as an “impacted” wisdom tooth), which can affect your other teeth. Wisdom teeth can also overcrowd your mouth, making it difficult to keep your teeth clean and eventually causing problems with your jaw and your bite.

What is the procedure to remove wisdom teeth?

Your dentist may perform the procedure, or you may be referred to an oral surgeon. You may have the choice of general anesthesia (so that you can be completely unconscious) or local anesthesia (so that you can be awake through the procedure but not feel any pain). If your tooth is still underneath the gums, a small incision will be made for its removal. It may need to be cut into smaller pieces to remove it. The procedure can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.

If you were given self-dissolving stitches, they will dissolve in a little more than a week. For the first couple of days after the procedure you should avoid strenuous exercise, alcohol, smoking, and drinking hot liquids (your dentist or oral surgeon will have specific instructions for you to follow).

Having wisdom teeth come in is one more rite of passage into adulthood! If your teenager thinks their wisdom teeth might be coming in, contact Hampton Dental Associates in Milwaukee for an appointment. Call (414) 464-9021 today!

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