Wisdom tooth extractions: It’s not as bad as one might think

Posted on: January 15, 2017

Wisdom Tooth ExtractionsA common part of many people’s childhood, wisdom tooth extractions are almost like a rite of passage for teenagers. The wisdom teeth sit at the back of the mouth and can greatly help with chewing. While a common procedure, it is associated with pain and something that many people dread. However, wisdom tooth extractions can be safe, mostly painless (except for some soreness after) and can result in less pain for the patient after the procedure.

Why people need tooth extractions

Known as the third molars, wisdom teeth may not need removal for some people. Mouthhealthy.org explains that “When they come through correctly, healthy wisdom teeth can help you chew.” However, many people may not have the room for the wisdom teeth to grow in due to overcrowding. In other cases, the wisdom teeth can grow in at incorrect angles and lead to more pain as they grow against other teeth.

Mouthhealthy.org lists the possible problems that can lead to extraction, including wisdom teeth that:

  • Trap food due to being in the wrong position
  • Do not come in properly and make it difficult to floss
  • Have only partially come through and give bacteria a place to enter the gums
  • Do not have room to come through can crowd and damage other teeth
  • Form a cyst from being impacted

At a regular dental checkup, the dentist will check for all of these signs before deciding if an extraction is necessary. While there may be a small amount of soreness after wisdom tooth extractions, patients will be able to return to a normal lifestyle after. In fact, a patient will experience a large amount of pain if he or she needs to have the teeth removed. Mouthhealthy.org lists reasons wisdom tooth extractions may become necessary, including:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Damage to neighboring teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay

A patient can avoid all of this pain by deciding to go through a wisdom tooth extraction. The process for which, is not half as difficult or painful as some people might believe.

The procedure

The procedure for wisdom tooth extractions will involve the dentist first taking X-rays of the patient’s teeth to get an adequate view of the wisdom teeth. From there, the dentist will determine if the wisdom teeth need to be extracted. The placement and condition of the wisdom teeth will affect the overall procedure. If the wisdom teeth are impacted, then the extraction might be more intensive than normal.

Preparation for the extraction mainly involves the patient asking any and all questions. A dentist will address all concerns and explain the details of the procedure if necessary. In most cases, the dentist will use sedation to put the patient under during the procedure. While the patient is asleep, the dentist will pull out the wisdom teeth with the best procedure for the situation.

Following the extraction, the patient will still be under the effects of the sedation. Thus, it is necessary to have a friend or family member drive the patient home after. In most cases, the patient will also keep some gauze in the mouth to collect any other blood that might trickle out. Fortunately, the amount of blood will be small and not last too long. The Mayo Clinic recommends resuming “normal activities the next day, but for at least a week, avoid strenuous activity that might result in losing the blood clot from the socket,” and to “Drink lots of water after the surgery.”

If you or a loved one needs to go through wisdom tooth extractions, call (650) 200-1179 and schedule a consultation today. Our Redwood City dentist office will make sure the procedure goes without a hitch and that the patient can continue to have a life with healthy teeth after.


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