Wisdom Teeth Removal And Your Child
It’s almost time for prepping the kids for school, and you have it covered. Supplies? Check! New clothes? Check! Course choices? Check! The need for wisdom teeth removal? That wasn’t on the back-to-school list! And, yet, when wisdom teeth are misaligned or impacted, the time is now to get them removed to avoid disrupting your child’s school year.
The teeth that are our third molars first came to be known as “teeth of wisdom” in the 17th century. The term was abbreviated to “wisdom teeth” in the 19th century. They usually erupt when we approach our late teens, and can appear as late as age 25. These are the years commonly deemed the onset of adulthood. Hence, our third molars became known as wisdom teeth. But, considering the havoc they can sometimes play with daily oral care, it’s easy to question Mother Nature’s wisdom in giving them to us.
There are times when wisdom teeth are an important asset. For example, when they are healthy and properly aligned. More often than not, however, children’s wisdom teeth grow in misaligned. The molars may grow at a horizontal angle, shifting too much toward or too far away from the second molars. They may grow inward toward the mouth or outward toward the cheek. Wisdom teeth can crowd or harm neighboring teeth as well as case damage to the jawbone or nerves.
Children’s wisdom teeth are also frequently known to become impacted. It is very common for the soft tissues of the mouth and gums to more deeply envelope them than the other molars, causing only partial eruption. This partial eruption invites bacteria, causing infection in the wisdom tooth. The results are pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and can lead to an overall feeling of illness. And because they are hard to reach during regular daily brushing and flossing, partially erupted wisdom teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
When any of these situations happen, wisdom teeth removal is the best course of action. Have a trusted dental professional examine the development of your child’s teeth. If he or she recommends wisdom teeth removal, you will want to learn some basics about the process so you can plan effectively as your child approaches the coming school year.
Recovery Time After Wisdom Teeth Removal
The recovery after wisdom teeth removal depends on things like the procedure’s complexity; how many teeth will be extracted; if the wisdom teeth removal involves the upper or the lower jaw; and the child’s own rate of healing and general health. But, generally speaking, the soft tissues over the extraction area will heal in approximately ten day while the underlying bone will usually heal in about six to eight weeks.
It’s during the first five days or so of the soft tissues’ primary healing time that you will need to plan for, regarding the upcoming school year. So having the procedure done prior to the start of school is recommended. During this time it will likely be necessary to put some restrictions on activities, make sure your child gets plenty of rest and have your child carefully attend to the extraction sites. By and large, your child will likely be able to return to normal activities in about five days after wisdom teeth removal.
If wisdom teeth removal must be done during the school year, your child will need to be excused from school for no less than three, preferably five days. Proper rest and care during this time is essential for good healing.
Complications are quite rare in patients when the oral surgeon’s instructions are followed with care. Even so, planning a little just-in-case time is a good idea. It ensures that your child will have some flexibility in the event of an unexpected problem. Following the directions of your dental professional will help ensure recovery goes well.
Possible Complications Of Wisdom Teeth Removal
As stated above, complications are rare. But of them, the most common complication of wisdom teeth removal is a condition called “dry socket.” This is a painful condition that may result if the blood clot that normally fills the empty socket is lost. This leaves underlying nerves exposed. It is resolved when a dentist cleans the wound and places a special dressing into the socket.
The other complication, excessive bleeding at the extraction site can usually be avoided by making sure your child gets adequate rest during the first twenty-four hours after wisdom teeth removal surgery. He or she should avoid activities such as bending or lifting. During the first week following the surgery, your child should stay away from strenuous activities that can cause elevated blood levels. Even better, avoiding such activities if at all possible until the extraction site is completely healed over.
Good Choices For Wisdom Teeth Removal During The School Year
Should it become necessary for your child to have wisdom teeth removal surgery during the school year, long holidays like winter breaks are ideal times to have it done. This allows for plenty of post-surgery healing time. It also lessens the stress on both parents and child, since the risk of your child falling behind on studies or getting benched during his/her most important game of the season won’t be an issue. Too, it spares your teen the embarrassment of going to class with the “chipmunk cheeks” of post-surgery swelling.
So, basically, when is the best time to schedule your child for wisdom teeth removal? The answer is now, whether you want to take advantage of the time you have before the school year starts or want to schedule over your school’s longest holiday. Getting the appointment locked in now will help you get ahead of all those other parents who also want to get ahead of rush.
Trust Your Child’s Care To Dr. Karras
Dr. Karras’ advanced training and extensive professional experience allow him to provide the highest level of surgical care for your children’s wisdom teeth removal. He has been engaged in the private practice of dental surgeries of every kind in the Chicago area since 1994.
Call the Advanced Center For Oral Surgery And Dental Implants at (847) 677-6647 to arrange a consultation, or use our Contact Page.