Wisdom teeth extraction is a dreaded, but often necessary procedure. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt during the late teens and early twenties. Oftentimes the eruption of wisdom teeth causes many problems that can threaten your oral health. For this reason, it is usually recommended to have wisdom teeth extracted. There are two different types of extraction techniques that may be used to remove wisdom teeth:
A simple extraction can be performed when the entire wisdom tooth has erupted out of the gums. During a simple extraction, forceps are used to loosen the tooth by rocking it while an elevator tool is used to lift it from the socket.
A surgical extraction is performed when a wisdom tooth is partially or entirely impacted (underneath the gums). During a surgical extraction, the affected tooth is broken into pieces before being removed one piece at a time. In some cases, incisions may also need to be made in the surrounding gum tissue to access or remove the tooth. Despite the fact that they sound more complicated, surgical extractions actually limit the amount of trauma experienced by the surrounding structures, which makes recovery faster.
Did You Know?
Wisdom teeth were once part of our evolutionary past. In the days when humans were hunters and gatherers, they needed that additional set of teeth to chew the roots, plants, and uncooked meat that made up the majority of their diet. However, as cooking methods made eating easier and the human brain began to evolve to a larger size, the size of the human jaw got smaller. This is why wisdom teeth no longer fit properly in the mouth.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need my wisdom teeth extracted?
While there are cases where you can keep your wisdom teeth, most dental professionals recommend having them removed. Wisdom teeth extractions are especially recommended when one or more teeth are impacted since this can cause pain, infection, and damage to the surrounding teeth. You should also have your wisdom teeth removed if they are causing overcrowding or if they are not erupting properly. To determine if you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, schedule a consultation with Dr. Mehdi Matin of West Coast Oral Surgery today.
What can I expect when having my wisdom teeth extracted at West Coast Oral Surgery?
When having your wisdom teeth extracted at West Coast Oral Surgery, you can expect to be anesthetized and sedated. This means that your mouth will be completely numb and you will either be extremely relaxed or unconscious. Generally speaking, surgical extractions tend to require a deeper level of sedation than simply extractions. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Matin will carry out your extractions using either a simple or surgical extraction technique. In most cases, it takes about 20-40 minutes to extract a single tooth from pre op to post op, with about 5-15 minutes being added for each consecutive extraction.
What can I expect after having my wisdom teeth extracted?
After having your wisdom teeth extracted, you will briefly remain in our office so we can monitor you as the sedation wears off. As you come out of sedation, your face will feel larger than it actually is. This is partially due to the fact that your face will still be numb, as well as the fact that your extraction sites will be stuffed with cotton or gauze to stop any bleeding. During the first day or two after your extraction, it is normal to experience some minor bleeding, swelling, and bruising. In most cases, you can expect the swelling to peak on the third day and then gradually decrease after that.
Before leaving our office, Dr. Matin will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to follow. These instructions will detail things like how to manage pain and swelling, what to eat, and how to keep the extraction site clean. It is important to follow these instructions in order to minimize postoperative pain and decrease the risk of complications. In most cases, you can expect your extraction sites to heal in about two weeks.