Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQs

At Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics, we work hard to give you a smile that you love and are proud of. To do so, our orthodontist may need to use early orthodontic care, suggest orthodontic appliances like braces or Invisalign, or remove a patient’s wisdom teeth. All of these are in the scope of orthodontics and creating a beautiful, straight smile. In particular, wisdom teeth can actually hinder the orthodontic process for children and adults. In most cases, it is necessary to remove the wisdom teeth. 

What Are Wisdom Teeth? 

Wisdom teeth are the third molars that develop normally between the ages of 17-25 years old. Everyone has three molars on either side of their jaw. By 12 years of age, most patients have developed their first two sets of molars, while the wisdom teeth develop a little later. The majority of teenagers/adults have four wisdom teeth, however, some patients have fewer wisdom teeth or none at all. 

How Do I Know If My Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In?

During your routine dental check-ups, especially if you’ve had x-rays performed, your dentist will see your wisdom teeth coming in. There are also some symptoms to look for: slight pain or tenderness in the jaw and gum swelling. For some patients, they are able to feel the wisdom teeth coming through their gums. 

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there is not enough room for the teeth to erupt from the gums and develop on their own. Normally, impacted wisdom teeth cause crowding, cavities, gum swelling and infections, cysts, and pain for the patient. Impacted wisdom teeth can damage the surrounding teeth and cause misalignment in your other teeth, even if they were originally straight.

Why Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. In fact, if a patient’s wisdom teeth are developing properly and grow in healthy with enough room, there is no need to remove them. However, this is often the exception. For the majority of patients, wisdom teeth removal is necessary to prevent crowding, damage to other teeth, tooth misalignment, cavities, and pain. 

What Should I Know About the Removal Process?

For a typical wisdom tooth removal, a patient will be given local anesthetic and possible sedation. Sedation will be decided by the doctor based on the patients’ needs and procedure. The actual removal of the wisdom teeth is quite quick. After the teeth have been removed, your doctor will most likely use stitches. These stitches are dissolvable and will disappear after a few days or weeks. 

What Should Be Expected During The Recovery Period?

Each patient is a little different and may have reacted differently to their procedure. It is especially important to listen to the instructions given by your doctor, particularly the pain management instructions. Patients will most likely experience some minor swelling which they can reduce with ice. Patients should also consume a soft diet after their procedure. This is not necessarily a liquid diet, but you should not consume anything that needs to be chewed. Mashed potatoes and smoothies can be great options!

Contact Your Local Sedalia Orthodontist Today!

If you have questions or concerns about wisdom teeth removal, please do not hesitate to ask our team at Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics. We will be more than happy to answer any of your questions, whether they are concerning wisdom teeth or adult orthodontics. To schedule your next visit for Kansas City orthodontics, contact our office or request an appointment online! We look forward to seeing you soon.