While not everyone needs to get their wisdom teeth removed, many do. Wisdom teeth removal is an outpatient procedure performed on 5 million Americans each year. This procedure might be common, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows much about it. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about wisdom teeth removal to get you ready for scheduling your own procedure.

What are wisdom teeth, anyway?

Wisdom teeth are an additional set of molars that grow in during the late teens or early twenties for most people. They usually can be spotted on X-rays during a routine dentist visit well before they actually are visible in the mouth. Originally, they may have been useful for our ancient ancestors, but we have since evolved to no longer need this extra set of teeth, and sometimes they can actually be problematic.

Do I have to have my wisdom teeth removed?

This answer depends on the person. Not everyone will have their wisdom teeth grow, meaning for some people, there’s nothing to remove in the first place. Others will have their wisdom teeth grow in, but they’ll have enough room in their jaw to accommodate the growing teeth.

However, in most situations, wisdom teeth will start to grow in at an angle that can either cause them to become impacted or damage other teeth. In these cases, wisdom teeth can be uncomfortable, at which point wisdom teeth removal is necessary.

How long does wisdom teeth removal take?

Removing your wisdom teeth is done as an outpatient procedure and shouldn’t take very long. Most wisdom teeth removals can be done in under one hour, but give yourself plenty of time afterwards to recover from both the procedure and the anesthetic used. If you work or go to school and can take time off, it’s best to take a few days to give yourself adequate time to recover.

How can I recover faster?

Listening to your dentist’s advice after oral surgery is the best step to take, but there are a few elements of recovery that are fairly standard. Your dentist should provide an at-home instruction sheet following the removal procedure. Talk to your doctor if you experience abnormal pain or if you notice you aren’t healing as quick as you’d expect.

For more information on wisdom teeth removal or to schedule an appointment to talk about your wisdom teeth, contact Afdent today.

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