Dr. Kurt Kavanaugh may recommend early orthodontic care, braces or Invisalign, or wisdom teeth removal. Orthodontics aims to create a beautiful, straight smile. Children and adults with wisdom teeth may have difficulty undergoing orthodontic treatment.    

What Are Wisdom Teeth? 

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Each person has three molars on each side of their jaw. A patient's first two sets of molars are usually developed by 12 years of age, while their wisdom teeth develop a few years later. Teenagers and adults usually have four wisdom teeth, but some have fewer or none at all. Adult orthodontics has shown that problems arise if they are causing crowding or other problems.

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

Sedalia orthodontist Dr. Kavanaugh sees many patients who come to him for their routine dental checkups and x-rays only to find that their wisdom teeth are already coming in. There can be slight jaw pain or tenderness, as well as swelling of the gums. Some patients may feel their wisdom teeth beginning to emerge from their gums.

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Talk to your Kansas City orthodontist about options for removing wisdom teeth if you are experiencing pain or other problems. Having wisdom teeth that are impacted can damage the surrounding teeth and cause misalignment.

Why Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?

Wisdom teeth that don't have enough room to fully erupt are said to be impacted. They can erupt sideways, partially, or not at all. A tooth that is impacted is more likely to become infected and cause problems with the jawbone and nearby teeth. Additionally, they are more difficult to clean, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. An impacted tooth will probably need to be removed by your dentist or orthodontist. One of the most common adult orthodontic procedures is wisdom tooth removal.

What Should I Know About the Removal Process?

Sedalia orthodontist Dr. Kavanaugh may recommend wisdom tooth extraction if your wisdom teeth are impacted or coming in at an angle. During wisdom tooth removal, sedation is used to keep you comfortable. Sedation will be provided based on your needs and the procedure. A local anesthetic numbs the area around your wisdom teeth. For more complex procedures, you may be given intravenous sedation, which is administered through a vein in your arm. Wisdom teeth can be removed in just a few minutes. After removing the teeth, your doctor will usually use stitches. These stitches will dissolve within a few days or weeks.

What Should Be Expected During The Recovery Period?

Both children and adult orthodontic patients may react differently to the procedure. You will receive specific instructions from your doctor on what to expect and how to manage pain. Ice can reduce swelling in most patients. Patients should consume a soft diet for a few days after the procedure. You don't have to eat smoothies and mashed potatoes for every meal, but you shouldn't consume anything that requires chewing. Before returning to your normal diet, consult your dentist.

Make an appointment with an Orthodontist in Sedalia today!

Ask our Kansas City orthodontist team if you have questions about wisdom teeth removal. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth or adult orthodontics, we are always happy to answer them. Contact us online, by phone, or request an appointment online to schedule your next Kansas City orthodontics appointment.