Wisdom teeth have become largely unnecessary as our diets and eating habits have evolved. These teeth can also cause overcrowding and other oral health issues. In many cases, early removal of wisdom teeth is recommended and necessary.
The Nature of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that generally develop during adolescence. It is rare for wisdom teeth to erupt cleanly and in proper position. When a patient has sufficient room in their jaw, wisdom teeth may be able to remain in place. However, because these teeth are more difficult to keep clean due to their position, extra care must be taken to prevent decay.
More often, there is not enough room for wisdom teeth, which can lead to overcrowding, misalignment, and even impacted teeth. When impacted wisdom teeth remain trapped in the jawbone, inflammation and infection can occur. Wisdom teeth can also emerge partially or at an odd angle, pushing against adjacent teeth. This awkward positioning allows bacteria to accumulate, which can lead to gum disease and infection if left untreated. Extraction of wisdom teeth is often recommended for patients who have undergone orthodontic treatment to prevent future shifting of aligned teeth.
Extraction is easier to complete and faster to recover from if performed early, before the roots of wisdom teeth have fully developed. We can begin to check for wisdom tooth development using x-rays on patients around the age of 12. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that patients between the ages of 16 and 19 have their teeth examined to see if extraction is necessary.
Our team is highly trained in IV sedation and wisdom teeth extraction, ensuring your safety and comfort during treatment.
The Extraction Procedure
Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine procedure, which can be performed with intravenous (IV) or oral sedation. With either form of sedation, you will remain conscious during treatment, though in a state of near-sleep, and will most likely not remember any of the procedure. Our team is highly trained in IV sedation and wisdom teeth extraction, ensuring your safety and comfort during treatment.
Once sedation and anesthesia are administered, gum and bone tissue obstructing extraction will be removed. Wisdom teeth are often extracted in pieces to disrupt the surrounding tissues as little as possible. When the teeth have been removed, any incisions that have been made will be sutured closed.
Recovery and Aftercare
After the surgery, swelling and pain may occur for the next few days. Many patients are able to treat discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication, but you will be provided with a prescription if desired. Sterile pads and other post-operative materials are provided to help with bleeding and to keep the area clean. For the first few days you may need to ingest only liquid and soft foods, and will need to avoid brushing the gums near sutures. Our office will provide complete aftercare instructions, and our experienced staff are available to answer any questions or concerns.
At The Dentist of Allen, we work to provide a pleasant, comfortable experience for all of our patients. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.