Wisdom Tooth Extractions
In most cases, the D&G Dental team works with patients to keep their natural teeth in place, but there are situations where tooth removal is the best option to ensure you maintain the optimal level of oral health. The most often extracted teeth are the third molars. Often referred to as wisdom teeth, this third set of molars can cause a number of oral health concerns that make removal the best option. If you want to learn more about wisdom teeth and when we recommend removal, call to schedule a consultation appointment at D&G Dental of West Orange. We typically recommend patients receive a wisdom tooth evaluation around the age of 11 or 12. At this point, the teeth are usually developed below the gum line, and we can often determine whether or not extraction will be necessary.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that typically erupt from the gum line in the late teens or early twenties. Our ancient ancestors needed these teeth to replace those that had been damaged or lost due to a coarse diet and poor oral hygiene. Thanks to improvements in diet and oral hygiene, most people no longer need these third molars.
When do We Recommend Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
There are many reasons why wisdom teeth may need to be removed, including:
- Impaction – wisdom teeth are often unable to erupt from the gum line which can lead to numerous oral health issues
- Crowding – there is often not enough space on the jawline to accommodate this additional set of teeth leading to crowding
- Decay or damage – when teeth are crowded too close together or the wisdom teeth are trapped below the gum line, they are at greater risk for decay, damage, and dental wear
- Shifting – wisdom teeth can shift teeth out of alignment, and in some cases, this can undo the results of costly orthodontic treatment
How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
There are two methods for removing wisdom teeth. The first is pulling. When a wisdom tooth or teeth have fully erupted from the gum line, we can use metal clasps to shift the tooth back and forth until it breaks free from the gums and we can pull it away. For teeth that are not fully erupted, we will need to surgically remove them. This means, we use a scalpel to cut away the soft tissue. Then, we use tools to remove the tooth from below the gum line.
What Happens after Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Following wisdom tooth extraction, we will provide you with an extensive list of instructions. These post-operative care directions will help to ensure you are able to safely and effectively make a fast, comfortable recovery following your wisdom tooth removal. You will likely experience some pain and swelling for at least the first 48 hours after treatment. Most patients are able to manage their pain using over the counter pain relievers and cold compresses. If you experience sever pain, swelling, or signs of infection, please call our office right away.