The wisdom teeth removal procedure is commonly thought of as a rite of passage — many of the older teens and young adults you know have had them removed. But in reality, wisdom teeth removal isn’t a necessity for everyone. Many individuals are able to keep their wisdom teeth without any future dental issues.
However, if there’s a family history of wisdom teeth problems and your dentist recommends removal for your developing teen, it’s always better to schedule wisdom teeth removal before they start causing other problems. You want to preserve orthodontic work and make the procedure as painless as possible for your child, and those are your oral surgeon’s goals too.
Schedule Removal as They Develop
The best time for surgical removal is before the teeth fully integrate into the jawbone. If you wait years, it’s more difficult to remove the molars because the roots have taken hold. This can make for a more complex recovery.
The ideal time frame is when the teeth begin to develop. This usually takes place in the later high school or early college years.
Troublesome Signs and Symptoms
Even if you haven’t consulted a dentist or oral surgeon yet, you will be able to tell that your child needs their third molars removed when they start to complain about pain in their jaw. They could also have an infection in the soft tissues surrounding the wisdom teeth. In extreme cases, cysts and tumors can develop at the infection site. Neighboring molars can start to exhibit signs of decay.
If your teen is reporting any of these signs, talk to your dentist or call your oral surgeon. It’s likely time to start planning their extraction procedure.
Plan at Least a Three-Day Break
Tooth extraction recovery time differs from person to person. Individual factors influence a patient’s healing time, such as their health status, how many teeth were removed and the location of those teeth.
In general, oral surgeons recommend planning at least a three-day break for a patient’s recovery. Complete soft tissue healing usually takes about 10 days, and the bone will heal within eight weeks.
Plan on your child resting for most of the 24 hours immediately following the procedure, then at least another two days. Most patients take about three to five days off from school to rest and recover.
Schedule Around Holidays
Many parents assume winter break is the best time for wisdom teeth removal, but make sure you don’t plan the procedure too close to their favorite holiday. It could interfere with their ability to enjoy the associated sweets and treats!
Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery will work with you to find the perfect wisdom teeth removal procedure date for your teen — we’re flexible for our patients.