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February 17 2010

What You Should Know About Wisdom Tooth Extraction

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Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, can be a real pain.  Truth of the matter is, the vast majority of people will have to have their wisdom teeth extracted at some point in time.  For most of us, the recommendation brings with it some uncertainty and some anxiety, as with anything relating to oral surgery.  Asking questions of your Fort Lauderdale dentist is the best way prepare yourself for a visit to the Ft. Lauderdale oral surgeon you have been referred to.

While a Ft. Lauderdale oral surgeon can extract wisdom teeth at any point, the older a patient is when they undergo the procedure can play a part in both the surgery and the recovery.  Typically, the younger the age of the patient going through a wisdom teeth extraction, the lower the risk of complications.  The results of studies conducted on the issue show a lower number of complications related to the procedure as well as the healing process in patients younger than their mid-twenties.  Most of the time, it is during the time of a patient’s teens to mid-twenties that their Fort Lauderdale dentist recommends wisdom teeth extraction.

While your Ft. Lauderdale oral surgeon will not want to wait too long to take out wisdom teeth, they also won’t want to do it too early either.  Yes, there is a time that your wisdom teeth are ripe for the picking.  Trying to take wisdom teeth out too early can be difficult because if the teeth are not developed enough, they will be difficult to manipulate.  This is why it isn’t until late teens to mid-twenties that this type of extraction is recommended.

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During the time your Ft. Lauderdale oral surgeon is extracting your wisdom teeth, you will be sedated.  You won’t know at all what is going on; you will drift off to sleep and then wake up in the recovery room.  Although your oral surgeon will sedate you, you will also receive numbing medication to control pain.  After your procedure, you will be given a prescription for pain medication to get you through the recovery process.

Before your procedure, your dentist will assess the benefits and risks to the extraction.  Typically, the benefits outweigh the risks by leaps and bounds.  Leaving wisdom teeth in place can result in pain and swelling; even infection.  However, you need to know both the pros and the cons.

One of the most common complications experienced after wisdom tooth extractions is a “dry socket”.  Technically this is alveolar osteitis.  The longstanding belief is that dry sockets happen for one of two reasons:  either an adequate blood clot did not form in the socket of the extracted tooth or the blood clot that did form has come out.  The blood clot is a critical part of healing, so losing the blood clot can sometimes delay the healing process.  While this is a common complication, it isn’t necessarily considered a risk and therefore is not a reason to leave wisdom teeth in place.

Barbara Fife has been a dental assistant and lecturer on oral health. Her experience on dental hygiene and treatment, has inspired her to write great articles to inform people on proper oral and dental care.

For more information on Fort Lauderdale dentist and Ft Lauderdale oral surgeon, please follow the links.