Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Patients of Young Dentistry in Manahawkin know that we are usually hard at work trying to help patients maintain their healthy, natural teeth. However, there are some situations where removing one or more teeth is the best way to maintain optimal overall health. For many patients, allowing wisdom teeth to remain in place adversely impacts their oral health, and removing these teeth is the best option. If you want to find out more about tooth extraction or find out whether or not removal is your best option, contact our Manahawkin dental office to schedule a wisdom tooth consultation. We’ll carefully examine your smile and developing wisdom teeth to determine whether or not you should consider extraction to maintain your healthy smile.
Why are Wisdom Teeth removed?
As is the case when we recommend the removal of any teeth, we encourage patients to receive wisdom tooth extraction when it benefits their overall oral health. We examine patients’ smiles around the age of 11 for warning signs that wisdom teeth may adversely impact smile health. These warning signs include the following situations:
- Impaction – one or more wisdom teeth are unable to erupt from the gum line.
- Improper positioning – one or more wisdom teeth develop in a position that adversely affects surrounding teeth. For instance, a tooth is angled toward the surrounding teeth.
- Orthodontic issues – many patients don’t have adequate space to accommodate wisdom teeth. This can lead to smile alignment issues due to crowding or shifting teeth out of their ideal alignment.
How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in one of two ways. When the tooth fully erupts from the gum line, we may be able to “pull” it. This involves numbing the area around the tooth and using clasping tools to shift a tooth back and forth until it can be pulled free from the socket. For wisdom teeth that aren’t fully erupted, we may need to surgically remove the tooth. This involves numbing the area. Then, we make an incision in the gum tissue and supportive bone tissue to reveal the tooth. In some cases, we can remove the full tooth. In other situations, we need to break a tooth into two or more pieces to safely and comfortably remove it.
What Should I Expect after Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Following any oral surgery, we will provide you with individual instructions to care for your smile as you heal. In most cases, patients will experience some light bleeding, swelling, and pain for the first 48 to 72 hours after tooth extraction. Within a week of tooth removal, most patients feel essentially back to normal. Our team will provide you with a specific at-home care plan to follow after your treatment, but some basics to keep in mind include:
- Keep gauze on extraction sites to apply pressure to slow bleeding and protect the socket during healing.
- Avoid eating solid foods for at least the first two days after treatment, and don’t push yourself to chew foods until you feel comfortable.
- Use over the counter or prescribed pain relievers as directed to reduce pain. Avoid aspirin and other pain relieving medications that thin blood.
- Use ice packs or cold compresses for the first 48 hours to relieve pain, slow bleeding, and reduce swelling. Apply the ice packs at 20 minute intervals (20 on and 20 off).
- If you experience severe pain or sensitivity in one or more sockets, you may be experiencing infection or dry socket. Call our team right away. We’ll schedule an appointment to examine your smile and help you relieve pain.