Wisdom Teeth Extractions – Maple Valley, WA
Removing Third Molars to Protect Your Health
Having your wisdom teeth removed is practically a rite of passage for teenagers and young adults. While in some cases these third molars can be safely left alone, more often than not there’s not enough room for them to erupt safely. At Four Corners Family Dentistry, we’ll examine your wisdom teeth and, if necessary, remove them with the highest amount of care and expertise we can offer. Is there someone in your family who should be getting their wisdom teeth soon? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the very last of the permanent teeth to erupt. They’re located in the back of the mouth. Most patients will have four wisdom teeth (two on top or two on the bottom); in some cases, though, you might only have two wisdom teeth, and in rare instances you might not have any at all.
Because they come in so late, wisdom teeth don’t often have the room to erupt properly, leading to all sorts of oral health issues.
When and Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted?
Much of the time, your wisdom teeth will become impacted, meaning they stay trapped under the gums. This can cause a lot of pain and may even damage the roots of nearby teeth. Also, because wisdom teeth tend to cause crowding in the mouth, they can make it a lot harder to practice good oral hygiene, leading to an increased risk of cavities, infection and – eventually – tooth and jawbone loss.
If it’s found that your wisdom teeth are more likely to cause problems than not, we’ll recommend an extraction. This is usually best done when the wisdom teeth first come in around the ages of 16 to 22.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
During the procedure, we’ll numb the area around the tooth so that you won’t feel any pain. (You may still feel some pressure, though.) During the surgery, we’ll make a small incision in your gums and remove any bone that’s blocking access to the tooth root. Depending on the situation, we might divide your tooth into sections so that we can remove it in pieces.
After the tooth has been completely removed, we’ll clean the surgical site of any debris. Gauze can be used to control the bleeding; sometimes the wound is closed with stitches, but this isn’t always necessary.
After the Surgery
You’ll receive specific instructions for taking care of the surgical site while you’re recovering. You should plan to rest for the rest of the day and avoid strenuous activities for at least a week; you should also only eat soft foods like yogurt or applesauce for the first 24 hours before gradually working your way up to more substantive meals. Over-the-counter painkillers, prescription medication and cold packs can all help you deal with any discomfort. If you notice potential symptoms of an infection (difficulty swallowing or breathing, fever, excessive bleeding, severe pain), call us right away.