Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Tooth Presentation

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

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By the age of eighteen, the average adult has 32 teeth. Typically, there is only space for 28 of the 32 teeth. These additional 4 teeth, known as wisdom teeth, are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth.

When and why should my wisdom teeth be removed?

The extraction of wisdom teeth is usually necessary when they are impacted. A wisdom tooth becomes impacted because there is a lack of space, causing the tooth to grow at an angle, emerge sideways, partially erupt from the gum tissue, or remain trapped completely beneath the gum and bone.

If a wisdom tooth is impacted and is not removed, several problems may occur as a person ages. The wisdom tooth may become symptomatic, causing pain or leading to infection; it may disrupt the orthodontic or natural eruption of other teeth or lead to bone loss and loosening of the adjacent teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth.

What Does Removing My Wisdom Teeth Require?

The ease of the wisdom teeth removal depends on the position of the tooth and root development. A wisdom tooth that has fully erupted through the gum tissue can be extracted much like any other tooth.

A wisdom tooth that is impacted below the gums and retained in the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. In this case, the tooth will be extracted in smaller portions to minimize the amount of bone that is removed.

Dr. Hart removes wisdom teeth with the appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. The anesthesia options will be discussed with you to determine what type of anesthesia is best for your needs.

What can I Expect After an Extraction?

After your surgery, you may experience some swelling and mild to moderate discomfort. These symptoms are normal and part of the normal healing process. A prescription for pain medication will be given to keep you comfortable. Minor bleeding may occur and is typically controlled by biting on gauze. Ice packs will also be given after surgery and should be applied for 20 minute intervals.

In order to prevent infection following your extraction, it is very important to keep the area clean. For the first 24 hours following the surgery, you should keep your mouth and teeth clean and refrain from smoking. In addition, avoid drinking hot liquids, do not drink through a straw, and limit strenuous activity. Beginning the day after your extraction, you may rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 303-663-7890.

Removal

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is completed under local anesthesia in conjunction with IV sedation or general anesthesia. The anesthesia options and surgical risks (i.e. sensory nerve damage, sinus complications) will be discussed with you prior to surgery.

Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 303-663-7890.