Wisdom Tooth Removal
“Alleviating impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth”
Many believe that as long as they’re not in pain, you don’t have to worry about your wisdom teeth. However, pain free does not mean disease or problem free. In fact, wisdom teeth that come in normally may still be prone to disease, according to a study by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation.
Wisdom Teeth Defined
Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars on each side of the upper and lower jaws. They’re also the final teeth to come in — they usually come in when a person is in their late teens or early twenties. It is generally thought among linguists that they are called wisdom teeth because they appear so late, at an age when a person matures into adulthood and is “wiser” than when other teeth have come in.
Problems With Wisdom Teeth
- Impacted - As wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to come in, there is often not enough room left in your mouth to accommodate them. This can lead to wisdom teeth that are impacted — enclosed within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through the gum. If teeth are impacted, swelling and tenderness may occur in the area of the third molar.
- Partially emerged - wisdom teeth that only partially emerge or come in crooked can lead to painful crowding and disease. Partial eruption allows an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease, because they are in a hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.
- Misalignment - when wisdom teeth are misaligned, they may position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars, or be angled inward or outward. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves.
Removing Wisdom Teeth
NuSmile will perform a thorough assessment to determine if you need to have your wisdom teeth pulled. However, your wisdom tooth should be removed if you’ve had:
- Periodontal Disease
It’s important to note that the American Dental Association recommends that people between 16 and 19 have their wisdom teeth evaluated to see if they need to be removed, as teeth removed before age 20 have less developed roots and fewer complications.
NuSmile may use one of three types of anesthesia, depending on the expected complexity of the wisdom tooth extraction and your comfort level — local, sedation or general anesthesia.
- An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone.
- Bone that blocks access to the tooth root is removed.
- The tooth is divided into sections if it's easier to remove in pieces.
- The tooth is removed.
- The site of the removed tooth is cleaned of any debris.
- The wound is stitched to promote healing, although this isn't always necessary.
- Gauze is place over the extraction site to control bleeding and to help a blood clot form.
You may be able to manage pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), or a prescription pain medication from your dentist or oral surgeon. Prescription pain medication may be especially helpful if bone has been removed during the procedure. Holding a cold pack against your jaw also may relieve pain. Any swelling of your cheeks usually improves in two or three days. Bruising may take several more days to resolve.
Don't brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, spit or use mouthwash during the first 24 hours after surgery. Typically you'll be told to resume brushing your teeth after the first 24 hours. Be particularly gentle near the surgical wound when brushing and gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water every two hours and after meals for a week.
You may have stitches that dissolve within a few weeks or no stitches at all. If your stitches need to be removed, we will schedule a follow-up appointment approximately one week after surgery.
Contact NuSmile Today
NuSmile oral surgeons have extensive experience with wisdom teeth at all stages, and help ensure your comfort throughout, and after, the procedure. From our office and staff to our technique, every aspect of treatment will make you feel comfortable and right at home.
If you want your teeth to look and function their very best, set an appointment with NuSmile today. Our dental expertise extends to virtually any cosmetic or functional issue in the mouth, routinely helping our patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. We serve patients in Tampa, FL, as well as surrounding areas such as Seminole and Clearwater. Schedule a free consultation today.Contact Today