Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the mouth, usually appearing in the late teenage years or early adulthood. While some people have enough room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth to come in properly, others may experience pain, crowding, or other problems due to a lack of space. In these cases, wisdom teeth may need to be extracted, or removed, by a dental professional. If you’re in need of wisdom tooth extraction near me or are considering having your wisdom teeth removed, it’s important to know what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of wisdom tooth extraction, including what adults should expect, how to choose a dental professional, what to expect during the recovery process, wisdom tooth extraction costs, impacted wisdom teeth, and tooth extraction cost.
Understanding wisdom teeth and why they may need to be removed
Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to emerge in the mouth, usually appearing in the late teenage years or early adulthood. Wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth and can be difficult to clean, which can lead to problems if they are not able to fully emerge or if they come in at an angle.
Wisdom teeth may need to be removed if they are causing pain, crowding, or other problems in the mouth. This can happen if there is not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to come in properly. Wisdom teeth that are impacted, or stuck in the jawbone or gums, may also need to be removed. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause infection, damage to other teeth, and other problems if left untreated.
It’s important to have regular dental check-ups so that your dentist can monitor the development of your wisdom teeth and recommend extraction if necessary. Your dentist will take X-rays to assess the position of your wisdom teeth and determine if they will need to be removed. If you need wisdom teeth removal, you must not delay the process. Wisdom teeth removal can provide considerable relief from pain and improve overall quality of life. Infected wisdom teeth can also lead to overall health problems.
The wisdom tooth extraction process: what to expect
Wisdom teeth removal is usually performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist with specialized training in this procedure. Wisdom teeth removal may be done in a dental office or in a hospital, depending on the complexity of the extraction and the overall health of the patient.
Before the impacted wisdom teeth removal process, your dentist will numb the area around the wisdom teeth with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. You may also be given conscious sedation, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas), to help you relax during the wisdom teeth removal.
During the wisdom teeth removal, the dentist will make an incision in the gum to expose the wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth will then be gently rocked back and forth to loosen it from the surrounding bone and tissue. If the wisdom teeth are difficult to remove, they may need to be cut into smaller pieces before wisdom teeth removal.
Once the wisdom tooth has been removed, the incision in the gum will be closed with stitches. The whole wisdom teeth removal process usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the number of wisdom teeth being removed and the complexity of the extraction.
Choosing a dental professional for wisdom tooth removal
It’s important to choose a dental professional who is experienced in wisdom tooth extraction to minimize the risk of complications. You can ask your regular dentist for a referral to an oral surgeon or a dentist with specialized training in wisdom tooth extraction. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have had wisdom teeth removal for an impacted wisdom tooth. You must choose a highly skilled dentist for wisdom teeth removal if you have tooth decay or gum disease, which can make the process more complex. Your wisdom teeth require removal in numerous instances, and you must trust your dentist.
When choosing a dental professional, it’s also a good idea to consider their qualifications and experience. Look for a dental professional who is a member of a professional organization, such as the American Dental Association (ADA), and who has received specialized training in wisdom tooth extraction.
Aftercare and recovery from wisdom tooth extraction
After wisdom tooth extraction, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for aftercare to help ensure a smooth recovery. This may include taking prescribed medications to manage pain and swelling, avoiding strenuous activity for a few days, and avoiding certain foods and drinks.
You can expect some swelling and discomfort after the procedure, but this should improve within a few days. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication to help manage discomfort, or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. To reduce swelling after wisdom teeth removal, you can apply an ice pack to the affected area for the first 24-48 hours after the procedure. After that, you can switch to a warm compress to help reduce discomfort.
It’s also important to keep the wisdom teeth removal extraction site clean to help prevent infection. Your dentist may prescribe mouthwash or recommend rinsing with salt water to help keep the area clean. You should also avoid brushing, spitting, or sucking on straws, as these actions can cause bleeding and disrupt the blood clot that forms at the extraction site.
You should be able to resume your normal activities within a few days of wisdom tooth extractions, but it’s important to take it easy and avoid strenuous activity for the first few days after the wisdom tooth extractions procedure. You should also avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, or spicy, as these can irritate the wisdom tooth extractions site and delay healing. Stick to soft, easily digestible foods and drinks until you are comfortable enough to resume your normal diet.
Potential risks and complications of wisdom tooth removal
Wisdom tooth extraction is generally a safe and routine procedure, but like any surgery, it carries some risk of complications. These may include:
- Infection: Infection at the extraction site is a possible complication of wisdom tooth extraction. Symptoms of infection may include fever, pain, and swelling. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection.
- Dry socket: Dry socket is a condition that occurs when the blood clot that forms at the extraction site is lost or doesn’t form properly. Symptoms of dry socket may include pain, bad breath, and a bad taste in the mouth. Your dentist may recommend a medicated dressing to help treat dry socket.
- Nerve damage: In rare cases, wisdom tooth extraction may result in nerve damage, which can cause numbness or tingling in the lip, chin, or tongue. Nerve damage is usually temporary and should resolve on its own over time.
- Sinus issues: If you have wisdom teeth in the upper jaw, there is a small risk that the extraction could cause a hole in the sinus membrane. This can result in sinus issues, such as sinusitis or a sinus infection.
- Bleeding: Some bleeding is normal after wisdom tooth extraction, but excessive bleeding can be a sign of a problem. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, you should contact your dentist.
Alternatives to wisdom tooth extraction
In some cases, it may be possible to avoid wisdom tooth extraction by using orthodontic treatment to create more space in the mouth. This may involve using braces or other appliances to move the teeth and create more space for the wisdom teeth to emerge.
However, not all people are candidates for orthodontic treatment, and in some cases, wisdom tooth extraction may still be necessary. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best course of action based on the position and development of your wisdom teeth.
URBN Dental is a state-of-the-art dental clinic specializing in removing wisdom teeth and other oral surgery procedures. We can perform a simple tooth extraction or a surgical procedure, depending on the condition of your tooth infection. We have offices across Houston, including Midtown Houston, Uptown Houston, Montrose, and Katy. Please schedule an appointment for surgical extraction of wisdom teeth if you have impacted wisdom teeth or infected wisdom teeth.