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Wisdom Teeth FAQ

Jan 27, 2017
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Wisdom Teeth FAQ

The most frequently asked questions by patients about wisdom teeth are: What are they able to eat after an extraction, why they need to have their wisdom teeth removed in the first place especially when it’s not giving them any current pain, and how long the recovery time is.

What’s the best food for after wisdom teeth removal?

Firstly, in terms of food, post operation, it’s best to only eat mushy food such as baby food, pureed soups, ice cream, yoghurt, mashed potatoes, smoothies and milkshakes.

Do I really need my wisdom teeth taken out?

In terms of having wisdom teeth removed if there is no current pain: it’s more a preventative measure for possible future complications such as when the wisdom teeth become infected or cause damage to the adjacent teeth. A partially erupted wisdom tooth means that the tooth has not completely broken through the gum. An impacted wisdom tooth relates more to the position of the tooth. It is embedded in the bone and prevented from taking its normal position.

Do I need all my wisdom teeth removed?

A dentist will be able to identify when a client could potentially have this kind of problem in the future. They may refer you to an oral surgeon to see how many wisdom teeth will need removing, which is normally anywhere between one and four teeth in both the upper and lower jaw.

What if we don’t remove wisdom teeth?

The risk of not removing the wisdom teeth is that it could create an infection around wisdom teeth and cause the development of cysts. Your mouth could be too small to make room for them, or the teeth could be growing against each other creating damage.
If you wait, you could have extended post operative healing or damage to adjacent teeth such as deep unrestorable carious lesions on adjacent teeth leading to potential loss of these teeth. Having a wisdom teeth removed at higher age is certainly more uncomfortable than at a younger age.

How long does it take to recover after the operation?

When it comes to the recovery period post operation, it depends on how many wisdom teeth someone has had removed and what kind of work they do.
Recovery time is between three to four days of eating softer foods, and it’s advised to take one week off work, depending on the individual. If for example someone is an office worker, with minimal talking and movement required, they could return to work earlier. But if someone does physical activity for work, like construction workers, a full week would be needed. You need to be 100 per cent alert for these kinds of jobs, not just 80 percent.

Does it take a lot of force to remove wisdom teeth?

There have been many myths regarding the challenges of removing impacted wisdom teeth like patients waking up with a foot shaped bruise on their chest where the dentist tried to pull the tooth out, or it may just be a story that has grown from the belief that the more force practitioners apply, the more likely you are to get the result, which is not really the case.
Removing wisdom teeth is more a matter of the correct technique: which is cutting it into little bits and then removing it. Of course, the longer a procedure takes, the more likely it is for a patient to suffer complications: sitting longer in the chair and undergoing a procedure can sometimes cause more bruising, trismus and swelling.

You can read more on wisdom teeth here.