We call the last molars to erupt from the gums ‘wisdom teeth’ because of the fact that they tend to emerge when we’re in our late teens and early 20s. They come when we’re older and wiser - at least, compared to childhood. Wisdom teeth are fairly typical teeth, in that they have the ability to break down the food we eat and aid in digestion.
Wisdom teeth, however, can cause problems for a number of reasons. Our friendly dental professionals at Expressions In Dentistry in Folsom, California, can help anyone who is having issues with their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth, despite serving a completely normal purpose, simply don’t always behave as the rest of our natural teeth behave, making extractions necessary.
Why do I need my wisdom teeth to be removed?
Our mouths are delicate environments. Our teeth, along with our tongues and saliva, are our natural tools for preparing food for digestion. Although our teeth serve us by breaking down food, our teeth themselves, as you know, may be prone to problems. For wisdom teeth, problems can start before the tooth is even visible.
Because they’re the last teeth to emerge after the rest of our teeth have already grown in, and taken their space, wisdom teeth may end up growing against, or impacting, other teeth. Your wisdom teeth may not grow straight up, the way that the rest of your teeth do. Wisdom teeth can even grow horizontally in your jaw.
Any of these scenarios can cause pain and, with it, the possibility of shifting teeth out of alignment. Crooked teeth, or malocclusion, can make it difficult to properly clean your teeth, raising your risk for periodontal disease, and a misaligned bite, which can make chewing and smiling more difficult.
Wisdom teeth can cause cysts to form in your bone, damage your other teeth, and cause issues with orthodontic treatments. Removing your wisdom teeth is usually the best preventive measure for any issue that they could cause.
What’s going to happen?
Many people have their wisdom teeth removed when they’re children or adolescents, often before those teeth ever erupt. Adults who are out of their early 20s, however, may not have them removed, may experience impacted wisdom teeth, and develop the need for them to be removed.
Having your wisdom teeth removed as an adult is a common procedure. At Expressions in Dentistry, we routinely remove wisdom teeth, however there are times when we may refer you to an oral surgeon for more advanced procedures.
For any dental procedure, you start with an examination. Once that’s completed, if the procedure is deemed safe and necessary for you, your provider will schedule your wisdom tooth extraction. Depending on your preference, as well as what your provider feels is healthy for you, you will have one of three options for anesthetic:
- Local anesthesia, which only affects your face
- Nitrous Oxide Sedation, which causes slight drowsiness and decreases anxiety.
- IV Conscious Sedation l, which makes you very sleepy and requires you to have a ride home
Once you’ve been properly prepared, your provider makes an incision in the gums over the problem tooth. The tooth is removed. After removal, the area is thoroughly flushed, collagen and or Platelet Rich Fibrin is inserted into the socket to accelerate healing, and your gums are sewn shut for proper healing. Your provider will place gauze in the area to catch any blood when the procedure is complete. We also recommend using an aloe based ointment to sooth and enhance the gum’s ability to heal.
Depending on the type of anesthesia you have, you may wake up in a recovery room, or be awake the entire time without feeling the dentist working on you. On the first day, it’s normal to experience a little bleeding. Bruising and swelling typically resolve within a few days. Your provider can recommend over-the-counter painkillers to alleviate discomfort.
I’m experiencing jaw pain.
Your provider at Expressions in Dentistry can help you. Whether your jaw pain is related to your tooth, or another issue, we are available to assist, and help you get back to feeling your best. Contact Expressions in Dentistry today at 916-252-9186, or book an appointment with us online.