Wisdom Teeth Extraction
If your wisdom teeth have become impacted against neighboring teeth, it might be necessary to have them extracted. The surgery involved in wisdom tooth extraction is minor, and the pain relief and potential future problems the removal resolves is priceless.
Candidates for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Problematic wisdom teeth can cause intense jaw pain, ear aches and headaches. However, if the issue is not resolved early, the risks inherent in extracting your wisdom teeth make the surgery an unwise decision. Those over the age of 35 face greater risk than younger patients, while people over 50 are at great risk of complications due to wisdom teeth having bonded with the jawbone.
If your dentist has determined your wisdom teeth to be problematic, the age window of 14 to 24 is an ideal time to undergo wisdom teeth extraction. This is because younger patients:
- Recover with greater ease
- The bone of adjacent teeth is less dense
- The wisdom teeth roots are not yet fully developed
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth and fail to seek treatment, you risk compromising your greater oral health:
- Other teeth may be forced to shift causing an irregularity in your bite
- You can suffer from headaches and sinus congestion
- Surrounding gum tissue can become easily irritated and painful, which can make cleaning difficult and snowball into cavities and periodontal disease
- Damage adjacent teeth
- Development of cyst and tumors around the wisdom teeth
The Extraction Procedure
The first step in extracting a problematic wisdom tooth is to numb it with a local anesthetic. Dr. Hamrah is board certified by the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology and offers a wide variety of sedation and general anesthesia techniques that will be tailored to your specific needs.
In order to remove the wisdom tooth, your gum tissue must be opened up and any bone covering the tooth will be removed. The tissue connecting your wisdom tooth to your bone will be cut and the tooth extracted. Once the tooth is removed, the gum is sutured, and gauze is placed in your mouth to control bleeding. You will remain under our supervision in our state of art recovery unit until you can be taken home.
The Recovery Process
The discomfort you will endure following the procedure and the length of time needed to recover depends on how easily accessible your wisdom tooth is. Common side effects include:
- Localized pain
- Lower lip numbness (rarely)
Although the recovery period typically only lasts a few days, it can be quite uncomfortable. Here are some tips to make the recovery process easier:
- Avoid solid foods
- Don’t engage in physical activity
- Take painkillers as prescribed
- Elevate your upper body to avoid extensive bleeding
- Your mouth will initially be numb. During this period, be certain not to bite your cheek, tongue or lip
- Press an ice pack on the outside of your cheek to minimize swelling
- Begin rinsing your mouth with salt water twenty-four hours after the surgery
Learn about the Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Problems.
Read about Diagnosing Wisdom Teeth Problems.
For more information, see Wisdom Teeth Extraction Questions.
If you live in the Washington, D.C. or northern Virginia areas and believe you are a candidate for wisdom teeth extraction, please contact Dr. Hamrah today to schedule your personal consultation.