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Nervous about Your Wisdom Teeth Extraction? Learn What To Expect

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. López uses digital x-rays to decide when it’s necessary to remove wisdom teeth that are not coming in properly or may cause problems.

wisdom teeth extraction at Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

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. López 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. López 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. López 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. López 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!

Health Smiles Start with a Healthy Diet

We’re all are familiar with the phrase “you are what you eat.” But did you know your diet can impact the health of your entire smile?

Recent studies published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology add greater support to the theory that there’s a strong relationship between diet and smiles. Unhealthy diets that are low in protein and vitamins but high in refined carbohydrates have been shown to increase the risk of cavities and gum health. Other studies, like this one conducted by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nutrition and Oral Health and the Centre for Community Oral Health Programmes highlight that nutrition has an impact on the development of teeth and can even trigger the preconditions that encourage the development of oral cancer.

Given the long term consequences of these preventable diseases, there’s little question as to why so many dentists are now educating patients of all ages on the importance of a healthy diet.

So What Makes a Smile Friendly Diet?

Many studies agree – the best diet for a healthy smile is a balanced one. This means a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein and plenty of water. Smile friendly diets also limit sugar intake, avoiding sticky candies or fruits as well as starchy, carb-heavy foods like potato chips.

So what does this all mean for your day to day life? Here are some of the top foods and drinks our Spokane dental team recommends picking up on your next trip to the grocery store.

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries are all rich in anthocyanins, which prevent bacteria from attaching to the surface of teeth. Try adding them to a cup of Greek yogurt for a delicious parfait or throwing them into your next salad for a pop of freshness.

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

Craving the crisp of a good potato chip? Get a satisfying and healthy crunch by swapping out chips for celery, snap peas, apples, or carrots at lunch time. These crisp fruits and vegetables help “scrub” away plaque from teeth as you eat them, keeping cavity-causing bacteria at bay.

Dairy

You probably already know how important vitamin D and calcium are for your bones, but were you aware of how important these essential vitamins are for your teeth? Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all excellent ways to strengthen teeth and fight demineralization of tooth enamel. Cheese in particular has also been shown to increase saliva production, which in turn helps wash away plaque and bacteria from teeth.

Leafy Greens

Spinach and kale not only provide your smile with important antioxidants and iron, they also contain high amounts of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and calcium. Each of these vitamins play a unique and important role in protecting the health of the smile and body.

Garlic

Are you a fan of garlic? You’re in luck. This pungent bulb contains allicin, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Allicin helps kill off gum-disease causing bacteria while protecting the good bacteria that resides in your smile.

Lean Protein

Protein is an important building block to every aspect of a healthy lifestyle and your smile is no exception. Lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish can all help strengthen teeth and protect your smile.

Get the Full Scoop – Visit Summit Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Today!

At our Spokane dental practice, our team is dedicated to helping patients care for their smiles. This includes choosing a healthy, sustainable diet that promotes good oral and overall health. Whether it’s time for your next teeth cleaning or you have questions about what kind of diet promotes a healthy smile, give us a call! Dr. López and his team are here to help you and your family achieve a beautiful smile.