Preserving Oral Health with Wisdom Tooth Extraction
For some individuals, all four wisdom teeth erupt in the correct positions without complications. Not everyone is so lucky, however. Patients without enough room for wisdom teeth or whose wisdom teeth have become impacted will need them extracted to preserve a healthy bite and prevent damage to adjacent teeth.
Our team at Kids and Grownups Dental in Irving, TX, provides wisdom tooth extraction at our office. If necessary, we can also offer nitrous oxide sedation to calm anxious patients and reduce discomfort.
Reasons for Extraction
Known as wisdom teeth, our third set of molars typically erupts in our late teens to early twenties. While this was useful when tooth loss was more common, improvements in oral healthcare have led fewer lost teeth and, consequently, to less space in the jaw. As a result, wisdom teeth often erupt abnormally, leading to pain, infection, and damage to adjacent teeth.
When Should My Wisdom Teeth be Extracted?
Most dentists agree that wisdom teeth should be removed when a patient is in his or her late teens or early twenties. While older individuals can also undergo the procedure, removing wisdom teeth early can prevent oral health-related issues in the future.
Sedation for Wisdom Tooth Removal
Fortunately, today’s oral surgery techniques are less invasive than traditional methods. This means less pain, discomfort, and downtime for our patients. For those who are especially anxious or pain-sensitive, though, our doctors offer nitrous oxide sedation, as well. This fast-acting gas helps patients relax during their appointment.
What to Expect at Your Procedure
Before beginning, the doctor will numb the treatment area with a local anesthetic and, if requested, provide sedation. Once you are comfortable, he will make a small incision in the gum tissue to access the wisdom tooth. If it is impacted, the doctor may divide the tooth into several pieces before removing it. After cleaning out any residual debris, he can then close up the surgical site with stitches and place a gauze pad to reduce bleeding.
Most patients are able to return to work within a couple of days.
We typically recommend keeping this gauze in place for at least 30 minutes so that a clot can form. If the site is still bleeding, another gauze pad can be placed until it stops.
To enjoy a swift and successful recovery following wisdom tooth extractions, patients can follow a few simple guidelines:
- Keep activity to a minimum: For the first 48 hours, patients should avoid strenuous movements that could lead to increased bleeding and swelling.
- Eat soft foods: Patients should avoid solid foods for at least a few days to prevent bleeding.
- Apply cold compresses and take pain medication: Over-the-counter pain medications and cold compresses can address most discomfort during the healing period.
Although every individual is unique, most patients are able to return to work within a couple of days. Follow-up appointments may be necessary to monitor your progress.
Schedule Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
"Everyone here is wonderful and friendly. They all do whatever it takes to make it a relaxed, pain-free experience. I highly recommend Dr. Lee and his staff. They are amazing!"- Theresa B.