Wisdom teeth are than a hygiene problem. They often cause infection and need extraction. Learn about the process from Claremore, OK dentist, Ali Torabi.
Between the ages of 15 and 25 young people receive a not so welcome gift. It’s their backmost, third molars, or wisdom teeth. Not serving substantively in chewing, speaking or maintaining tooth alignment, wisdom teeth often present problems necessitating their extraction.
The problems with wisdom teeth
These third molars are simply difficult to brush and floss because of their far back position in the mouth. As such, they decay easily, leading to abscess (infection) and gum disease because of the accumulated plaque.
Additionally, many wisdom teeth do not fully erupt into the oral cavity. They remain encased in gum tissue (soft tissue impaction) and even in the jaw bone itself (boney impaction). Impaction causes:
- pain and swelling
- growth of benign cysts
- impingement on neighboring tooth roots
After an initial oral exam and x-rays, Dr. Ali Torabi, Claremore, OK dentist at Flawless Smile Dentistry, may recommend wisdom tooth extraction. While dentists work hard to preserve as many healthy teeth as possible, wisdom teeth that cause toothaches and soft tissue and alignment problems are not truly healthy. Also, their removal often gives remaining teeth the space and environment they need to function well and stay straight.
The extraction procedure
Wisdom teeth are usually extracted during an in-office appointment under local anesthesia, nitrous oxide or oral sedation. Dr. Torabi offers all 3 methods of pain control.
If needed, the dentists incises the gums to expose the tooth and carefully extracts it, including any bone that may obstruct it. He instills the socket with an antimicrobial medication and stitches the opening closed. The patient bites on a small sterile gauze pad until the bleeding stops.
Afterwards, Dr. Torabi recommends:
- over the counter analgesics (ibuprofen, acetaminophen) to control discomfort
- putting ice on the jaw to reduce any swelling
- a soft diet for 24 hours (mashed potatoes, yogurt)
- no brushing of the extraction site for the first 24 hours
- rinsing the mouth with warm salt water every 2 hours and after eating for about a week
- drinking plenty of water
- refraining from using a straw for 24 hours until a clot forms in the wound
- no smoking for at least 3 days–longer if possible
- resumption of normal activities the next day but nothing strenuous for a week
- removal of stitches, if necessary, within one week
You’re in good hands
Dr. Ali Torabi specializes in family, cosmetic and sedation dentistry for patients of all ages. He and his friendly team make every effort to keep abreast of the latest in diagnostic and treatment techniques. Plus, they work to educate their patients, keep them comfortable and want them to fully participate in their treatment plans.
Concerned about wisdom teeth? Contact Flawless Smile Dentistry for a one on one consultation.