Dental Expert: Everything you want to know about wisdom teeth removal

Dental Expert: Everything you want to know about wisdom teeth removal

TAMPA (BLOOM) –During winter break many students and parents brace for a common rite of passage: wisdom teeth removal. Dr. Jason Auerbach, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon based in New Jersey, sheds light on this crucial procedure, offering valuable insights for those undergoing this experience.

Dental Expert: Everything you want to know about wisdom teeth removal
Wisdom tooth with impaction at molar tooth. Medically accurate tooth 3D illustration

Understanding Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, a vestige of our evolutionary past, were necessary for our ancestors who consumed tougher diets. Dr. Auerbach explains, “Wisdom teeth erupted in the late 1800s to replace molars worn down by challenging diets.” However, with advancements in orthodontics and changes in diet, these teeth often become problematic, leading to the need for removal to prevent issues like cysts, infections, and inflammation.

Timing and Decision-Making

The timing of wisdom teeth removal is crucial. Dr. Auerbach advises considering the patient’s age and school schedule, as recovery can take up to a week. “Winter break is a popular choice for this procedure due to the time off from school,” he notes, allowing for a comfortable recovery period without academic interruptions.

The Removal Process

Safety and comfort are paramount during the removal process. “Patients are typically sedated, monitored by two assistants, and given local anesthesia for comfort,” Dr. Auerbach states. Post-operative instructions are provided before and after the procedure to manage discomfort effectively.

Recovery and Aftercare

Post-surgery recovery involves careful steps. Dr. Auerbach recommends starting with clear liquids like Gatorade or apple juice, followed by a mechanically soft diet. He warns against rinsing the mouth for the first 24 hours and using straws, as these can disrupt the healing process. “Icing the face for the first 24 hours and avoiding exercise for up to a week are also crucial,” he adds.

Myths vs. Facts

Addressing common myths, Dr. Auerbach clarifies, “Not all wisdom teeth need extraction, but timely removal is key.” Waiting until problems arise can make the surgery more complicated and riskier.

Long-Term Oral Health

The removal of wisdom teeth significantly impacts oral health. “Erupting wisdom teeth can lead to acute issues like infection and inflammation,” Dr. Auerbach warns. Early removal can prevent such complications.

Advice for Parents and Teens

For parents and teens, Dr. Auerbach recommends regular dental check-ups and panoramic x-rays to assess the need for wisdom teeth removal. “Choosing a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon is crucial for the best care,” he advises.

Innovations in Oral Surgery

Dr. Auerbach is excited about technological advances in oral surgery, particularly digital technologies like cone-beam CT scans and digital impressions. These innovations lead to better diagnoses, risk assessments, and outcomes.

Wisdom teeth removal, while common, requires careful consideration and planning. Dr. Auerbach’s insights provide a valuable guide for those embarking on this journey. Consulting with dental professionals and choosing qualified surgeons are key steps in ensuring a smooth and safe procedure.

As families prepare for this common winter break procedure, understanding the process, recovery, and long-term implications is essential for optimal oral health.

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