Copper Canyon Dentistry has specialists that are skilled in wisdom teeth removal procedures. If you think you may need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, speak to our experts, and get a full assessment.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the largest teeth that come through at the back of the mouth. One on each side of the upper and lower jaw, there are four wisdom teeth in total. Typically, they emerge in early adulthood, approximately around the ages of 17 - 21. Your wisdom teeth emerge after all of your other adult teeth have come in. Wisdom teeth are often referred to as your third set of molars.
Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
There is no reason to consider having your wisdom teeth removed if they are not causing you pain, or any other problems. However, wisdom teeth may cause a problem if there is not enough space in your mouth for them to emerge. In these circumstances, your wisdom teeth can fail to break through the gums - which means they are impacted. They may also emerge crooked, or they may cause movement or damage to nearby teeth.
Even if your wisdom teeth are not causing you pain, the position that your teeth emerge may make it difficult to clean all of the surfaces, providing places for bacteria to hide. If you cannot remove the bacteria effectively this can lead to gum irritation and pockets developing between the teeth, leading to gum diseases and tooth cavities. It is in your best interest to have a dental exam by one of our dentists who can assess whether extraction of your wisdom teeth would be of benefit to your overall oral health.
What is the Procedure for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Tooth extraction has been around for hundreds of years. However, it has progressed to a simple procedure with little chance of infection and complete satisfaction with the results. While many patients exhibit anxiety over dental surgeries and do not want to have to suffer through a tooth extraction, in some cases, there is simply no other way to treat the problem, especially if your wisdom teeth are impacted. Once all other attempts at tooth preservation have failed, we will need to discuss tooth extraction options with you.
Surgical tooth extractions include extracting impacted wisdom teeth as well as extracting severely damaged, decayed, or infected teeth. Wisdom tooth removal is considered to be a surgical procedure. This is because an incision will need to be made in the gums to remove the tooth, which requires suturing. Thus, wisdom tooth removal may be carried out by a general dentist, or a specialist such as an oral surgeon.
The procedure for wisdom tooth removal is carried out under a local anesthetic, which is administered to numb the area around the tooth. An incision is made in the gums and the dentist will begin to widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth backward and forward. Once loose, the tooth can be removed using a pair of forceps. Sometimes, the wisdom tooth may be too large to remove all at once, and in this case, the tooth will need to be cut into sections and removed piece by piece. After the wisdom tooth is removed completely, the site will be cleared of debris and cleaned thoroughly. Stitches are then used to close up the wound. In order to promote healing, a piece of gauze will be placed over the extraction site to help a blood clot to form. It is very important that you allow a blood clot to form, otherwise you may suffer from dry socket which can be very painful and lead to infection following your wisdom tooth extraction.
What Are the Different Sedation Options?
If you are feeling anxious about having your wisdom teeth extracted, we can administer conscious sedation to help you feel more relaxed about having your wisdom teeth removed, and this will help you remain calm and relaxed during and throughout the procedure. We have a variety of sedation options we can offer to you in order to ensure that you are calm during the procedure. The level of sedation offered to you will depend upon how nervous you are about your treatment, as well as the procedure you are having. However, we have many different options to calm your anxiety during the procedure. These include minimal sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation also referred to as general anesthesia.
What Does Recovery and Healing Time Look Like?
We may prescribe antibiotics after your wisdom tooth extraction, and you will be given the appropriate pain medication. There may be bleeding for up to 24 hours after the extraction, and you should be careful about dislodging any blood clot. It is important to refrain from drinking anything but water during this early healing time or eating anything but soft foods that do not require chewing. You want to be gentle with the extraction site. After 24 hours you can clean your teeth gently, and rinse your mouth with lukewarm, salt water after eating. Repeat this brushing and rinsing routine several times a day for a week to keep the mouth clean. It is very important to keep your mouth clean in order to prevent infection following your dental surgery. With the appropriate post surgery care, your extraction site will heal nicely and quickly.
While resting, it is important to have your head elevated in an upward position to diminish any swelling that may occur in your mouth, cheeks, or face. This swelling should go down within a couple of days after your wisdom tooth extraction. Anti-inflammatory medications can also be prescribed for you if it is necessary, or if the patient has had a history of problems with inflammation in the past.
If you are looking to get your wisdom teeth removed, or unsure if you should have them removed, we have experienced professionals here at Copper Canyon Dentistry that can help you with this. Schedule a consultation appointment with us by calling our office at 661-775-8317 today.