Your back wisdom teeth are notorious for causing oral health complications throughout your life, and although you may not currently be experiencing symptoms, there could be issues occurring under the gums that can be expensive and problematic to fix if the wisdom teeth are left alone and treatment postponed..
Wisdom teeth are often impacted, meaning that there isn’t enough space for them to correctly erupt through the gums. Sometimes we see teeth straightened by braces or Invisalign, only to have wisdom teeth cause them to become crooked again and cause the need to re-do the braces or Invisalign! Wisdom teeth can trap food near the roots of your “good” back molars, causing deep decay that is often impossible to fix and results in extra, unexpected extractions.
Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms, we recommend to come in for an exam around age 16 in order to evaluate your wisdom teeth. The earlier they are removed, the easier the process, with a quicker and more comfortable healing period. If you’re not sure about the status of your wisdom teeth, or just want more information about wisdom teeth removal, make an appointment to see us and discuss. We offer sedation options to help make your treatment quick and comfortable.
What Is The Wisdom Tooth Removal Process?
There are two types of wisdom tooth removal that are commonly used, which are known as “basic extractions” and “surgical extractions.”
The process of a basic extraction is very straightforward and usually only takes about 5 minutes per tooth. This type of extraction can be used when your tooth has fully erupted from its socket, and is not impacted.
To begin, Dr. Kollen will clean and numb the treatment area. You can also be sedated during this procedure, if you wish. Then, he will use a dental “elevator” to loosen the tooth in its socket, and extract it with dental forceps. When the tooth has been removed, the area will be cleaned, sanitized, and sutured to encourage proper healing. This process will be repeated for each tooth that needs to be extracted.
A surgical extraction is a bit different, and is required if your tooth has not fully erupted and is mostly stuck under your gums. In this procedure, Dr. Kollen will clean and numb your gum area, then create a small incision next to the tooth.
Through this incision, he will remove the tooth, clean the area, and suture it shut so that your gums will heal properly.
How Long Does It Take To Recover?
Average recovery times for a tooth extraction are typically about 2 weeks. During this time, new gum tissue and bone will grow around the blood clot that forms where your missing tooth used to be, healing the area.
You will need to eat a soft food diet for a least a week, and avoid doing things that could dislodge your blood clot, such as spitting forcefully, brushing the area directly, or using a straw during the first 1-3 days after your treatment.
You will receive a full set of recovery & healing instructions after your treatment. You will need to make sure you follow Dr. Kollen’s instructions during the recovery process to avoid complications, and make sure your mouth heals properly.
Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?
Not always. Some people are able to keep their wisdom teeth with no problems. The wisdom teeth are a natural part of your mouth, so in some cases, they may grow in without causing any symptoms or issues.
If your mouth is large enough and wide enough to accommodate your wisdom teeth without any problems, there’s no need to have them removed. The best way to determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to come out is to consult with a dentist like Dr. Scott Kollen.