Some wisdom teeth erupt normally, but impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, cavities, and damage to other teeth. Using an x-ray, the oral surgeons at Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center of Santa Fe can determine whether wisdom tooth removal is needed. Wisdom tooth removal is a fairly straightforward procedure, and our doctors will provide detailed post-operative instructions to ensure healthy healing and recovery.
Wisdom teeth are third molars. Some people actually have room for them. And if you have room for them, they function like normal teeth, you leave them alone. But a lot of times they're impacted, meaning that they just didn't come through the gums or they're hiding in the bone. And those can cause issues in the future. So depending on what they look like, depending on the issues that people are having just determines, you know, is it something we need to take out, something that we need to address? Or is it just better to watch them?
The main reason we take wisdom teeth out is pain. A lot of people come in, they're having pain like teething pain or cutting through the gums or the gums are infected or inflamed, and that typically can cause a lot of pain. So that's the main reason. Wisdom teeth can cause damage up against the back of the other tooth. So that can be an issue. They can damage the root, they can cause cavities, they can cause bone loss. Also, they can actually grow cyst and tumors and some of those could be devastating enough that you have to have a big surgical procedure. So sometimes we'll actually take them out in an elective fashion meaning it's not an emergency to take out but we need to take them out so we don't have those issues in the future.
When a patient comes in to look at wisdom teeth, you know we have an X-ray usually from the office. If we don't, we'll take an X-ray. We'll come in, I'll talk to them why we take wisdom teeth out, and then we'll go over, you know, why they're there, are they having any pain or discomfort, or is this something that we can wait on until like a Christmas break, or a winter break, or a summer break. And then we, you know, look at the patient, look at the tissues, see what's going on. And then also just talk, you know, what is the procedure involved and what do you expect for recovery and, you know, what we expect, you know, how long it's going to take to get back to the normal and normal diets and, you know, just a lot of information on why and how.
Most people, you know, are sore for about three or four days. The worst thing is usually going back to a normal diet. It's about three weeks before I'll let you eat crunchy, crispy foods. The first week or two you're just kind of sore, a little tender. The gums are tender for a bit. Takes about two to three weeks before we want you to brush the region, so the gums feel kind of weird for a while otherwise you can kind of hurt the area. Some people noticed, you know, their jaw muscles are sore, the muscles are a little sore and achy. Usually, most of it is soreness. Most people are very comfortable with Motrin, or Tylenol, or Advil as control. Rarely do you have to really go on any very strong medicines and it's mostly just got to kind of take it easy for a few days. Nothing really strenuous, not anything exciting. Just kind of take it easy.