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The removal of wisdom teeth becomes necessary in various situations to preserve oral health and prevent potential issues. If you have concerns about your wisdom teeth, don't hesitate to consult with a qualified maxillofacial surgeon. They will guide you through the process, ensuring your comfort and well-being every step of the way.

Why should I get my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of molars located at the back of your mouth. While they can be beneficial if they erupt properly and are in harmony with the rest of your teeth, in many cases, they can cause problems that may require removal. Most common indications are:

1. Lack of Space: One common reason for removing wisdom teeth is that there often isn't enough space in the jaw to accommodate them properly. As a result, they may grow at awkward angles or become impacted, which means they don't fully emerge from the gums. This can lead to pain, swelling, and potential damage to adjacent teeth.

2. Difficult Cleaning: Due to their location at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth can be challenging to clean thoroughly. Their position makes them susceptible to trapping food particles and bacteria, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Removing them can help maintain better oral hygiene and prevent future dental issues.

3. Potential Misalignment: Wisdom teeth can exert pressure on neighboring teeth as they attempt to emerge, causing crowding and shifting of your other teeth. This misalignment can affect your bite and lead to discomfort while chewing.

4. Formation of Cysts: In some cases, a fluid-filled sac called a cyst may form around an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts can damage the surrounding bone and teeth, leading to more severe problems if left untreated. Removing the affected wisdom tooth is essential to prevent further complications and maintain oral health.

When is the best time for wisdom teeth removal?

The procedure can be performed at all ages. However, the best age to remove wisdom teeth is between 12 - 25 years of age because in that age group the risk for complications are lowest when the procedure is done by qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeons. 

How is the procedure performed?

If your maxillofacial surgeon recommends wisdom teeth removal, you need not worry. The procedure is commonly performed and generally safe. Before the surgery, you will receive anesthetics to ensure you are comfortable and pain-free during the process. You have several options for anesthesia to ensure your comfort during the procedure. These options include:

a) General Anesthesia: This option allows you to be completely unconscious during the surgery and implies a day admission. It is typically recommended for more complex cases or for patients who prefer to be asleep throughout the procedure.

b) Local Anesthesia: With local anesthesia, the surgeon numbs the area around the wisdom tooth to be removed. You will remain awake but should not feel any pain during the procedure. Local anesthesia is often used for straightforward cases.

c) Sedation: Some centers also offer sedation, which helps you relax and feel more at ease during the surgery. While under sedation, you may be awake but may not remember the procedure afterwards.

What to expect after surgery?

Following the extraction, you might experience some mild discomfort and swelling, but this is normal and should subside within a few days. Your surgeon will provide you with post-operative instructions to promote proper healing and reduce any potential complications. It's essential to follow these guidelines carefully.

You can find more detailed instructions below

Are there potential risks when removing wisdom teeth?

Wisdom tooth removal is a routine procedure performed by skilled maxillofacial surgeons.  It's common to experience some discomfort and swelling after the surgery. This usually subsides in a few days and can be managed with prescribed pain relievers. While complications are infrequent, it's essential to be aware of the most common risks associated with this surgery. 

Bleeding: Some bleeding at the extraction site is normal, but it should taper off within a day or two. If you notice persistent or heavy bleeding, contact your surgeon.

Infection: Though rare, there's a slight risk of infection at the surgical site. Following post-operative care instructions and maintaining good oral hygiene can help minimize this risk.

Limited Jaw Movement: You may experience temporary jaw stiffness or difficulty in fully opening your mouth. This usually improves gradually as you heal.

Dry Socket: Occasionally, a blood clot may dislodge prematurely from the extraction site, resulting in a condition called "dry socket." It can be uncomfortable but can be treated by your surgeon.

Numbness or Tingling: After the anesthesia wears off, the skin on your face and tongue should typically return to its normal sensation. However, in rare instances, some patients might experience persistent numbness or burning. Your surgeon will usually inform you of this risk prior to the procedure. If you notice any unusual sensations, reach out to your surgeon for guidance.

Sinus Issues: For upper wisdom tooth extractions, there's a minimal risk of developing a communication between the mouth and the sinus cavity. It rarely requires additional treatment other than a temporary prohibition of blowing your nose.

Bone sequesters: After an extraction, sometimes small bits of bone (bone sequesters) can work their way to the surface and pop out on their own. Think of it like the body's way of cleaning house. But if you feel anything unusual or are worried about it, it's always a good idea to reach out to your surgeon. They'll help make sure everything is healing as it should.

Rest assured, your surgeon will discuss your medical history and conduct a thorough examination to minimize these risks. They will also provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to ensure a smooth recovery. In the hands of experienced professionals, wisdom tooth removal is a safe and effective way to improve your oral health and well-being. They are dedicated to providing the best care possible and ensuring your comfort throughout the process.

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