Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars, and when they align correctly and there’s room for them in your mouth, they’re just extra molars that help you chew. They appear on both the upper and lower jaw and get their name from the more mature time of life at which they usually appear.
In many people, the wisdom teeth are a source of grief causing pain, discomfort, and dental complications.
You may notice pain in your mouth, headaches -- even migraines -- and ache in your jaw. Sometimes wisdom teeth issues are caught when Dr. Lee does X-rays or when he examines your teeth. You may have problems if your wisdom teeth are:
In general, if your wisdom teeth are causing pain, infection, cysts, or are damaging other teeth, it’s time to get them removed.
You may choose to keep wisdom teeth if they aren’t causing an immediate problem. Dr. Lee will continue to monitor them at regular visits, as they can cause problems later, including greater risk of decay and cysts. Be especially vigilant about keeping wisdom teeth clean and flossed.
If your wisdom teeth have broken through the surface of the skin, you’ll have them removed while under local anesthesia. Impacted teeth require a slightly more extensive procedure that requires IV sedation or general anesthesia. Talk to Dr. Lee about his particular recommendation given your situation.
Following the extraction, you’ll be sent home with instructions. You’ll be given medications to deal with the pain. In addition, you may want to apply ice packs to lessen any swelling. Expect it to take several days or up to a week or two to fully recover.
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