Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Keeping the Pain-Free Smile on Your Face
Wisdom tooth extraction seems to be a right of passage among teens and young adults. Everyone has a wisdom tooth story to tell, and many of those stories involve visiting a new dental office. While the Anderson Dental team always wants our patients to receive the best possible care and recognize that this often means working with specialists, we also know that it’s important to keep patients comfortable and relaxed to ensure the best outcomes from any dental procedure. For this reason, our team has completed advanced training in order to provide a number of safe, effective dentistry services, including the removal of one or more wisdom teeth, right here in the dental office you already trust with your everyday oral health. If you’re interested in learning more about wisdom tooth extraction or any other dentistry service we provide, give our dental office in Phoenix a call.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars that erupt during the late teens and early twenties. They earned their name from the Victorians who considered this stage of a person’s life to be the age of wisdom. They are actually an evolutionary hangover from our ancient ancestors whose difficult to chew diets and lack of oral hygiene often lead to extensive tooth loss at young ages. Today, our diets and improved oral hygiene practices have made these teeth nonessential.
Why are Third Molars Removed?
Because wisdom teeth are typically not necessary for your oral health, they can be extracted without any negative impact to the overall form and function of your smile. Some of the reasons why we might recommend a patient have their wisdom teeth removed include:
- Impaction – when wisdom teeth are unable to fully erupt from the gum line or they erupt at incorrect angels, they can adversely affect the whole smile.
- Crowding – because most people do not lose teeth before their early twenties, this means the third molars are just not necessary and there is often not enough space to accommodate them. Crowding can lead to changes in the appearance and function of your smile as well difficulty with oral hygiene.
- Misalignment – impacted teeth can develop below the gums pushing against surrounding teeth, and when they’re able to erupt, the crowding can still shift teeth out of alignment. If you’ve already gone through lengthy and costly orthodontic treatment, removing wisdom teeth is essential to maintain these results.
How are Wisdom Teeth Extracted?
When wisdom teeth are able to fully erupt from the gum line, we may be able to simply pull them, using clasping tools to break the tooth loose from supportive structures. However, most wisdom tooth removal does require some element of surgery. This may be as small as an incision in the gums to reveal greater amounts of dental structure, or it can mean more advanced surgical intervention. Before we begin the process, we will explain what you can expect throughout your procedure.
What Happens After Wisdom Tooth Removal?
Following your wisdom tooth removal, a trusted friend or family member should be on hand to drive you home and monitor you during recovery. You will need to keep gauze over the sockets to absorb blood flow, usually for the first two days after treatment. Exchange your gauze pads as often as you need to as they become saturated. You will likely notice some swelling and inflammation in the cheeks and jawline. To help with this, as well as reducing pain and slowing blood flow, we recommend using ice packs at 20 minute intervals (20 on and 20 off) for the first 48 hours. Staying healthy and well rested is essential to making a full recovery. Make sure you’re getting plenty of restful sleep at night and avoiding strenuous activities during your recovery. Take any prescription or over the counter medications as directed. If you notice increasing pain after the first few days, continued bleeding, or you’re still in pain after a week or longer, it may be time to give us a call.
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