Wisdom Teeth/Dental Extractions
Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to develop. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. Sometimes they emerge from the gum line, and the jaw is large enough to allow room for them, but more often than not, they fail to emerge and become stuck half way or impacted. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially visible in the mouth tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections and even gum disease. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly recommends that wisdom teeth be removed by the time the patient is a young adult in order to prevent future problems and to ensure optimal healing.
Each patient's situation is unique. Your surgeon will usually take a panoramic x-ray or CT scan to determine whether your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. If your surgeon or dentist recommends removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner rather than later. Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the teeth's roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make the extraction surgery easier, decrease the risk of damage to surrounding structures, as well as making the recovery time much shorter.
To remove a wisdom tooth, your surgeon first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. If you are feeling nervous or anxious about the procedure additional medication can be used to safely sedate you or put you to sleep during the surgery. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and imbedded in your jaw bone, your surgeon will need to make an incision in the gums and remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, your surgeon will often “section or cut” your wisdom tooth into segments so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.
Once your wisdom teeth have been removed, the healing process begins. Sometimes bone grafting is required after the extraction to aide in normal healing. Healing time varies depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction and the age and health of the patient. Your surgeon will let you know what to expect and will provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.
Other Dental Extractions
Our office is also happy to perform any other dental extractions that you may require. A consultation with your surgeon will determine if the procedure can be done with local anesthetic only(numbing the area) or if some type of sedation could be used. We understand that many of our patients are nervous to have a tooth/teeth removed, so our team is here to help make your experience as pleasurable as possible. Let us know how we can help.