Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, start to show up on your dental X-rays when you’re in your mid-teens. They are called “wisdom teeth” because they come in during young adulthood—between the ages of 17 and 21—the time of life when you are beginning to mature.
You may begin to feel this third set of molars as they push against your back gums. Problems arise if there is not enough room for the teeth to come in normally or are in the wrong position to come in straight up. When wisdom teeth get trapped in the jawbone or gums, they are called “impacted;” they can cause pain and swelling and may have to be removed.
Your dentist or specialist may also recommend removing your wisdom teeth to prevent problems or for others reasons, such as when removal is part of getting braces, treating gums or other dental procedures.
Many people have their wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 17 and 25, but not everyone’s teeth develop on the same schedule. That’s why it’s important to see your dentist regularly so he or she can monitor the progress of your wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth removal is usually an easy, short process done by your dentist or an oral surgeon. You will meet with them before the procedure to talk about anesthesia and any other issues or questions you might have.
The surgery typically takes 45 minutes or less. Your mouth will be numbed with a shot of Novocaine in your gums and you may be given nitrous oxide to breathe in to relax you during surgery. If you need more sedation, you could also be given a shot in your arm to make you drowsy or even put you to sleep during the procedure.
Your mouth should heal in a few days and you should be able to go back to school or work the next day.
If you are concerned about your wisdom teeth, Dr. Douglas Angell and the dental hygienists at Angell’s Dentistry will be happy to answer your questions. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. We invite you to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.