Your wisdom teeth are the third and final molars to erupt in the back of your mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, and they don’t always need to be removed so long as they are healthy, straight and have grown in completely. Often, however, wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow properly and need removal to prevent negative effects on surrounding teeth, gum tissue and bone.
At Natomas Crossing Dental Care, we provide wisdom teeth removal in Sacramento to safely and effectively extract problematic third molars.
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Do Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
Your dentist can perform x-rays and scans to determine the position of your third molars. If one’s wisdom teeth are already causing issues, or if your dentist determines that they will cause problems in the future, then you’re likely a good candidate for wisdom teeth removal.
Common reasons to have wisdom teeth removed include:
- Impacted wisdom teeth: One of the most common reasons to have a third molar removed is because it is impacted. Wisdom teeth that are impacted in the jawbone do not have enough space to emerge through the gums completely. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to painful problems, such as fluid-filled cysts, which can form in the soft tissue and cause damage to the jaw and surrounding teeth. Tooth decay is also common when a tooth is partially trapped beneath the gums. Stuck food and bacteria are hard to access with a toothbrush, increasing your risk for cavities, gum disease and infection.
- Broken wisdom tooth: In some cases, a third molar may try to erupt into a space in the mouth that is already occupied by another tooth. As it pushes through the gum tissue against existing teeth, the force may cause it to break or crack. Left untreated, a broken wisdom tooth can lead to serious issues including decay and infection to surrounding teeth and gum tissue. Emergency wisdom tooth removal may be necessary to prevent future complications caused by a fractured third molar.
- Crowding: It is common for crowding and damage to neighboring teeth to occur if the third molars don’t have adequate space to emerge in the mouth. That’s because wisdom teeth can grow in sideways and misaligned, which forces other teeth to shift out of their healthy alignment. Crowded teeth are difficult to clean which contributes to the formation of plaque and tartar over time. Orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign or ClearCorrect may be necessary to correct crooked teeth and abnormal bites caused by poorly aligned wisdom teeth.
What to Expect on the Day of Extraction
The entire procedure is relatively quick and easy — taking approximately 60 minutes to complete. On the day of extraction, medications may be provided prior to surgery to ensure you are comfortable and at ease throughout the procedure. First, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Sedation may also be used to ensure optimal comfort from start to finish. The dentist will discuss all of your options for sedation dentistry, including nitrous oxide or IV sedation, at the initial appointment to help you make the best decision based on one’s individual needs.
How your wisdom teeth are removed will depend on their position in the mouth. If the molar is fully erupted, then your dentist may be able to extract it like any other tooth. For impacted wisdom teeth removal, an incision is made in the gums, exposing the tooth so that it can be extracted. Stitches may be used to close the incision site and promote healing. Gauze is then placed to manage bleeding and help form a blood clot.
What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Following the extraction, an adult will need to drive you home. Our team will provide you with a comprehensive set of after-care instructions to help you recover comfortably at home. It is common to experience some pain, swelling and light bleeding — all of which are part of the normal healing process.
For most patients, the recovery period lasts only a few days. The following tips can help you heal with minimal discomfort.
- Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to reduce swelling and pain.
- Take pain medications as prescribed by your dentist to alleviate discomfort.
- Eat soft foods such as smoothies, soup and pudding. Progress to normal foods as the extraction site heals.
- Avoid sucking on straws to avoid loosening blood clots that aid in the healing process.
Benefits of Wisdom Teeth Extraction
It is always encouraged to have your wisdom teeth removed if they are not growing in properly. Extraction of the third molars can help prevent many oral health issues, including gum disease, tooth decay, overcrowding and bite problems.
The timing of your extraction is also important. Generally, the earlier you have your third molars removed the better the outcome. That’s because as we get older, the roots of teeth become longer, and the jawbone becomes denser. This can complicate the removal of teeth and even delay healing time. Early extraction of the third molars in the late teens or early twenties is generally easier before the roots are fully formed. It also prevents future negative side effects caused by poorly erupted wisdom teeth.
Why Trust Natomas Crossing?
Whether you need one or all four wisdom teeth removed, the experienced and compassionate team at Natomas Crossing Dental Care is here to provide gentle, personalized care throughout the entire process. Our dentists utilize advanced technology and treatment methods to provide comfortable, effective wisdom tooth extraction. For severely impacted wisdom teeth, IV sedation dentistry may be recommended. We would be happy to discuss your questions and options at your next visit.
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Call (916) 928-9999