My dentist is going to remove my lower right wisdom tooth because it aches. He says that if I don’t remove the upper right wisdom tooth, it will drop into the space of the lower one and eventually hit my gums or interfere with other teeth. Is that true. Do I need both wisdom teeth extracted? I am 54 years old and do not want unnecessary complications. I am anxious to begin teeth whitening treatment. Thank you. Regina
Your dentist is right. It is wise to remove wisdom teeth in pairs for several reasons.
- Drifting – Keeping the upper right wisdom tooth can cause it to drift into the lower space.
- Bite disruption – The unevenness can disrupt your bite or contribute to tooth decay or gum disease.
- Tooth decay or gum disease – Without a lower tooth to chew against, if the upper tooth disrupts your bite, tooth decay or gum disease can occur in other teeth.
What Can You Expect with Wisdom Teeth Removal?
You can expect painless surgery and progressive recovery with wisdom tooth removal. Impacted wisdom teeth can be challenging to extract. If your dentist is not experienced with a variety of cases and your teeth are impacted, he may refer you to an oral surgeon.
Comfort – Before surgery, the oral surgeon will sedate you.
Surgery length – Your time in surgery depends on how many teeth the surgeon will remove and if they are impacted. Average time for removing all four wisdom teeth is about 1.5 hours.
Progressive recovery – You will see some swelling and feel soreness, but post-operative instructions explain how to manage them both and keep comfortable. Each day, you will progressively feel better. Although complications are rare, your oral surgeon will explain the signs and symptoms of complications, including:
- Dry socket
- Sensory nerve damage
- Sinus perforation
Follow-up visits – You may have one follow-up visit after extraction, but it is often not needed.
Your dentist will schedule an appointment to check the extractions sites and ensure your gums and remaining teeth are healthy before starting teeth whitening treatment.
Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy sponsors this post.