Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that develop on each side of the lower and upper jaws. Usually, wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17 and 25.
A wisdom tooth extraction procedure is recommended when a patient’s wisdom teeth are:
1. Impacted - Wisdom teeth trapped beneath the gums or only partially erupted can cause pain, swelling and infection. When wisdom teeth are impacted, a wisdom tooth extraction procedure is required to position the teeth properly. Impacted wisdom teeth left untreated can lead to further oral health problems.
2. Crowded - When there is not enough space in the dental arch to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become painfully impacted. A wisdom tooth extraction procedure is recommended if a patient’s wisdom teeth are crowding other teeth.
3. Misaligned - Wisdom teeth positioned incorrectly can crowd or damage adjacent teeth. Misaligned wisdom teeth can also lead to a misaligned bite. A wisdom tooth extraction procedure is recommended if a patient’s wisdom teeth are causing misalignment.
The surgery should take no longer than one hour and you will likely be required to wear gauze during the procedure. However, if your wisdom teeth are impacted, you may need to take antibiotic medication to prevent infection.
The tooth is anesthetized, and the dentist will carefully rock the tooth back and forth to loosen it from the socket. The tooth is then pulled out using forceps. If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will make an incision on the gums. It may be pulled in several pieces. The dentist will place stitches to begin the healing process.
After an extraction, you’ll likely experience discomfort, pain, or swelling. Painkillers, ice packs, and saltwater rinses are all options for dealing with pain. It is imperative you follow your dentist’s post-operative instructions, especially if you have stitches.
To help reduce swelling, we recommend:
- Consume cold foods and drinks.
- Do not rinse your mouth like usual for the first 24 hours after your extraction.
- Keep food debris out of the extraction site.
Silicon Valley Dental Center offers expert dental care from our dental assistants led by Dr. Jamah. For more details and scheduling appointments, call us at (408) 335-4431. You can also book online or visit us directly at 5710 Cahalan Ave Building 8K, San Jose 95123 or 4737 Sonoma Highway #B, Santa Rosa 95409.
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