3 Tips For Scheduling Wisdom Teeth Extractions For Teens

Teenagers don't like to interrupt their schedules for anything—even wisdom teeth extractions. As a parent, however, you know how important this procedure is for your child's health and comfort, so follow these 6 tips to schedule extractions that won't cause too much fuss.

1. Avoid Picture Day

Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. On the lower end of this range, teenagers are usually in their last year of high school, which means they will be taking senior pictures.

No teenager wants to look like a "chipmunk" on picture day. While wisdom teeth extraction causes varying levels of swelling and discoloration, and some patients experience none at all, you don't want to take a chance by scheduling the appointment just before your child steps in front of a camera.

If senior pictures are taken through the school, call the office to learn the exact day. Plan wisdom teeth extraction no fewer than two weeks before it. Alternatively, if parents are charged with arranging their own teens' senior pictures, you have more control over the schedule.

2. Ask the Dentist About Complications

Wisdom teeth extraction is more time-sensitive for some patients than for others. Your teen might require faster treatment if there are complicating factors, such as:

  • Gum disease or infection
  • Cysts in the sac from which the wisdom tooth erupts
  • Extensive decay in the surrounding teeth
  • Danger to surrounding teeth

Communicate with your teen about the severity of his or her condition. Try to give him or her at least some say in the date on which you schedule the procedure, such as avoiding Wednesdays because of soccer practice.

3. Consider Final Exams

Since some teens require narcotic pain medication to cope with discomfort after wisdom teeth extractions, your teen might need to take multiple sick days from school. If this will impact final exam exemptions, talk to your teen about this concern.

For example, Klein Oak High School in Texas only allows students to exempt finals when they have 4 or fewer absences. If this is the case at your teen's school, consider scheduling the procedure during winter, spring, or summer break.

Keep in mind, however, that factors like final exams should not matter if your teen requires emergency extractions. Explain to your teen that taking final exams can boost his or her grade point average in preparation for college.

Wisdom teeth extractions are often a point of contention among teens, especially those who are worried about the swelling, bruising, and other aesthetic side effects. Talk with a dentist (such as one from Panther Hollow Dental Lodge) about ways to minimize these concerns so your teen feels comfortable with the procedure.