Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

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Wisdom Tooth Symptoms

Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure that many Americans need as their bodies mature.  While the need for an extraction is not always be preceded by any particular signals, some symptoms may indicate that it is time for an assessment.

Symptoms to pay attention to include:

  • Pain or jaw stiffness near an impacted tooth.
  • Pain or irritation along the cheek, tongue, or top or bottom of the mouth caused by rubbing when the tooth is coming in at an awkward angle.
  • Infection and swelling in the gum tissue around a tooth that has not fully broken through.
  • Overcrowding of the other teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to come in, and they can make their appearance anywhere from the late teens to the mid-twenties.  Wisdom teeth are often misaligned or impacted.  Impacted wisdom teeth are either partially or completely still under the gums.  The partial opening in the gums can make it more likely for bacteria to get in to the gums and cause an infection.  The position that wisdom teeth hold in the back of the mouth also makes them harder to clean thoroughly while brushing and flossing.  The lack of good oral hygiene can make them more vulnerable to infection and decay.

 A common solution to these issues is for dentists to extract these wisdom teeth before they are able to become a problem.  If you and your dentist decide to extract your wisdom teeth, there are two common scenarios:

  • In the simplest scenario, the wisdom tooth is completely exposed and can be extracted by the normal tooth extraction process.
  • If the wisdom tooth is partially or completely impacted, it will be necessary to perform and incision and minor surgery.  Your oral surgeon may remove the tooth a small section at a time as opposed to removing it all at once.  This process can minimize the removal of bone under the teeth.

 Here are the steps your dentist will follow in the extraction of a wisdom tooth:

  • A local anesthetic will be applied to the area immediately surrounding the problem tooth.
  • Your dentist will have the option to provide varying levels of sedative to help you relax during the procedure.  Your level of anxiety will determine the method and amount of sedation.  The first level (also known as “laughing gas”) will be minor enough that you can drive yourself home after the procedure.  The two higher levels of sedation will affect your ability to drive home.  You will need to bring a friend or relative who can drive you home following the oral surgery.

Upon completion of the extraction, the staff will provide detailed post-operation instructions for you to carry out at home.

Tooth Extraction

At Tomaich Oral Surgery, our goal is to preserve your natural teeth as often as possible.  We have many restorative options that we would recommend first.  However, there are definitely scenarios where the extraction of a tooth is the only good option.  Here are a few examples of those types of scenarios:

  • A severely decayed tooth
  • A broken tooth that cannot be repaired
  • A poorly positioned tooth that cannot be adjusted
  • A tooth with advanced stages of periodontal disease

 An extraction is always our last resort because the extraction of a tooth always carries the possibilities of additional complications.  Your other teeth, your gums, and your jaws are all affected by an extraction.  Our staff will always discuss with you any possible alternatives.  We will only recommend an extraction when we feel there is no other viable option.  If the decision is made to perform an extraction, we will also inform you of the best options available for replacing the tooth that will be extracted.

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