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Wisdom Teeth Removal


The average adult has 32 teeth in their mouth; 16 in the upper jaw and 16 in the lower jaw. Wisdom teeth, or “third molars,” are teeth in the back of the mouth, and are often the last teeth to grow and develop in the mouth. Wisdom teeth can erupt in proper alignment, and with healthy gum tissue, your referring dentist may feel comfortable leaving the teeth intact. However, many times there is not enough room in the jaw to accommodate these teeth to erupt into the mouth with proper alignment. Often, when these teeth do erupt into the mouth, they are not in a position to allow for adequate hygiene, or they may cause mal-alignment of neighboring teeth. Poorly positioned wisdom teeth, along with oral bacteria, can promote bone loss, cyst formation, infection, and gum disease of adjacent teeth.
For these reasons, it is often recommended that wisdom teeth be extracted earlier on in life to prevent future problems with adjacent teeth, such as dental crowding and cavity formation. Although wisdom teeth can be extracted at any age, it is recommended that these teeth be removed before the age of 25. When wisdom teeth are extracted after the age of 25, the risks and complications increase.

Our doctors will provide a comprehensive oral evaluation and may take x-rays or additional films, to determine if problems currently exist or may be problematic in the future. Call our office to schedule your appointment today!

The Extraction Process

At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process you will feel pressure. This is from the process of rocking the tooth in order to loosen the tooth for removal. If you feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know right away.

Sectioning a tooth
Some teeth may require sectioning or bone removal. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.  The drill used is loud but not painful.  If you are considering an implant to replace the tooth, be sure you let our staff know this as we may need to graft bone to the area to ensure enough bone is present for the implant.


After Extraction Home Care

Bleeding
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 60 minutes can control this. Blood clots form in the empty socket.This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot. Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
  • Avoid use of a straw, smoking, and hot liquids.

Swelling
If swelling occurs you can place ice on your face for 20 minutes and off for 10 minutes. Repeat this cycle for up to 24 hours.

Pain and Medications
If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  You will be given a prescription for stronger pain medication if your surgeon feels it may be necessary.

Eating
For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.

Brushing and Cleaning
After the extraction lightly brush the teeth near the extraction site. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.

Dry Socket
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed. Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three or four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry. Our surgeons will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.

Healing
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1-2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.