Wisdom Teeth Extractions
At Tulsa Dental Center, our experienced team can help ensure a comfortable, affordable wisdom tooth extraction, even for the most anxious of patients. In order to avoid further pain or damage, once a wisdom tooth is in need of extraction, acting quickly is critical.
Most wisdom teeth emerge during the late teenage years, or possibly in someone’s early 20s. All 28 of your other teeth are typically in place at the time wisdom teeth show up.
Many people simply don’t have a lot of remaining room in their mouth for wisdom teeth to grow properly at this point.
Why take wisdom teeth out?
This lack of space can sometimes cause wisdom teeth to come in at an angle or only partially emerge. This type of growth is called an impacted wisdom tooth. Some impacted wisdom teeth cause no problems- these are fine to leave in the mouth, as there is no benefit in removing them.
If your impacted wisdom teeth cause you any issues, however, seeing your dentist as soon as possible is important. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems including pain as well as being a potential hotspot for trapped bacteria or food, which leads to plaque buildup. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to:
- Cellulitis – A type of bacterial infection
- Gum Disease
- Periodontal Disease
- Tooth Decay
- Cysts or other benign growths (uncommon)
The majority of these issues are successfully treated with antibiotics and/or antiseptic mouthwash. However, if the wisdom teeth are the underlying cause of these issues, they must be removed in order to avoid a recurrence of the problem in the future.
What does the surgery entail?
At Tulsa Dental Center, a typical wisdom tooth removal is done in the comfort of our clinic. Our team delivers a local anesthetic via a quick injection. This numbs the area around your wisdom teeth, ensuring your procedure is pain-free. You may feel a bit of pressure at the beginning of the procedure as your dentist will need to widen the socket of the tooth by rocking it gently back and forth.
Sometimes, it is necessary to make a small incision in the gum in order to remove the teeth. This depends on how heavily impacted your wisdom tooth is and whether it can be removed in a single movement or if it must be broken into smaller pieces first.
Removing a wisdom tooth typically takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes, but it can take longer in certain situations.
The Recovery Process
Following your wisdom tooth extraction, you may experience some minor discomfort or swelling at the site of removal. This will last up to three days, but a full recovery may take anywhere from three days to two weeks.
After the extraction, you may experience:
- A stiff or sore jaw
- Swollen cheeks or mouth
- A strange or unpleasant taste
- Slight bruising in your cheek
- Numbness of the face
- A tingling sensation in your lips, face, or tongue
These potential after-effects are normal, and most will resolve within a few days. If your extraction was particularly difficult, you could experience several of these after-effects.
If your procedure involved a local anesthetic only, you will be able to drive yourself home immediately afterwards. If a sedative was required, you will need to avoid driving for 24-48 hours following your extraction, so be sure to arrange for someone to transport you to/from your procedure.
Knowing When to See a Dentist About a Wisdom Tooth
It is important to see a dentist quickly if you are experiencing dental pain. Should you be developing an infection or abscess, your dentist can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
Additionally, the team at Tulsa Dental Center can help determine the precise source of your pain. Dental x-rays may be necessary to give your dentist a clearer picture of the position of your wisdom teeth.
If you are experiencing pain related to your wisdom teeth, it is best to contact your dentist quickly.
Contact us today if you have any questions about wisdom tooth extraction or to make an appointment with our team.
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