Wisdom teeth aren’t necessary teeth and most adults have them extracted due to impaction, infection, or crowding. While not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, those that do have them taken out typically do it in their late teens or early twenties. At Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Lopez uses digital x-rays to decide when it’s necessary to remove wisdom teeth that are not coming in properly or may cause problems.
What are wisdom teeth?
While most of us only have room in our mouth for 28 teeth, we actually have 32. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, that don’t usually erupt until later in life. Most people have them removed in their late teens or early twenties, and a lucky few never need to have them removed at all. Your wisdom teeth serve no essential purpose, so having them removed won’t damage or inhibit your oral function in any way.
While we don’t need our wisdom teeth to maintain our health, they were originally used to help early human ancestors grind plant tissue. Early humans were thought to have larger jaws, with room for more teeth, helping them ingest a diet made of foliage and plants.
Why Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
Due to the fact that most of us don’t have big enough mouths to accommodate these extra molars, they don’t have enough space to erupt properly. They can cause overcrowding, or come in sideways and impacted, meaning that they are not growing in straight. When your wisdom teeth are impacted, that can damage surrounding teeth, causing infection. Removing your wisdom teeth makes it easier to maintain your oral health and prevent your teeth from shifting out of place.
What To Expect From An Extraction
Fortunately, wisdom teeth extractions are an extremely common procedure. Dr. Lopez wants you to feel at ease during the process. With the use of sedation dentistry, you will be able to rest pain-free during the extraction, leaving you with little to no memory after your teeth have been removed. As everyone’s wisdom teeth are unique the extraction process is different for each patient.
If your wisdom teeth have already come through the gums the procedure will be similar to any other tooth extraction. However, if your wisdom teeth are still covered by gum tissue, our Spokane dentist will make a small incision, giving him access to the area and allowing him to extract the tooth. It may be necessary to split the tooth into multiple pieces to make it easier to remove.
Recovery From Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Following your procedure, someone will need to drive you home to heal. Immediately following your procedure, your lips, and cheeks may still feel a little numb or sore, however, medication should prevent any feeling of pain. During the next few days, it is important to get plenty of rest, avoid hard foods, or foods that are too hot as this can aggravate the extraction site.
Dr. Lopez will provide medications to help reduce swelling, pain, and prevent infection as you heal. Most patients experience little to no discomfort and are able to return to normal activities such as work within a few days. Working out and heavy physical activity should be avoided until you are healed to prevent complications with your extraction site.
Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Removing your wisdom teeth is usually recommended to protect your smile from damage. At Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, wisdom tooth extractions offer many benefits to improve your oral health. Some of the benefits include:
- Preventing damage to surrounding teeth
- Improving oral health
- Prevent shifting in teeth
- Stop overcrowding
- Preventing infection
Leaving your wisdom teeth in place when they are impacted or causing overcrowding can cause permanent damage. Wisdom teeth can make it hard to properly clean your back molars, causing tooth decay and cavities. They can also affect the health of your gums trapping bacteria and food debris that can cause gum disease.
It’s natural to be nervous when undergoing serious procedures, however, Dr. Lopez and the team at Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry are experienced in keeping you comfortable and worry-free during your entire treatment. We provide sedation dentistry and will walk you through every step to make sure you know exactly what to expect.
Visit Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Today!
Removing your wisdom tooth will protect your smile from damage, and relieve pain that can be caused by inflamed gums or impacted teeth. Dr. Lopez is dedicated to providing stress-free dental care in a comfortable and caring environment that will put your mind at ease. Contact our Spokane office today!