Most dentists prefer to preserve natural teeth if at all possible, but sometimes tooth extraction is the best option. Decay, periodontal disease, and injury may be severe enough to require extraction. Preparation for orthodontic treatment and poor positioning of teeth, such as with impacted wisdom teeth, may indicate necessary removal of the affected teeth.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last teeth to erupt during the late teens or early twenties. It is common for wisdom teeth to come in crooked or only partially emerge. When this occurs, pain, crowding, and disease are likely to follow. Dr. Donovan Essen, DDS recommends teens over the age of 15 have an exam to evaluate whether there is room for the wisdom teeth to erupt successfully.
Impacted wisdom teeth may cause damage to adjacent teeth, but the damage is not only cosmetic. Infections, cysts, and tooth decay are common issues related to impacted wisdom teeth. If Dr. Essen feels there is room for the wisdom teeth, continued monitoring is necessary to ensure no problems develop.
We offer sedation dentistry to meet the needs of our patients during tooth extraction, though most patients tolerate the procedure with a local anesthetic. It is common to feel pressure as the dentist rocks the tooth back and forth to widen the socket. Tooth sectioning may be required if the tooth root is curved or anchored firmly in the socket.
The team at Essen Dentistry will instruct you on how to bite on gauze properly to stop normal bleeding following your appointment. Limit activities and exercise that may cause the bleeding to resume. For 72 hours after extraction, you should avoid sucking on straws, smoking, drinking alcohol, or brushing near the extraction site.
Pain and swelling can be relieved with the help of over-the-counter pain medication, prescription pain medication, and ice packs. Be sure to finish any antibiotics to prevent complications from infection. Most swelling will clear up within two days.
Eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of fluids until you are comfortable eating normally. Make sure you brush at least twice a day and floss once to keep your mouth clean and speed healing.
Call Essen Dentistry to discuss concerns about the eruption of wisdom teeth. Dr. Essen brings years of experience to determine if it is possible to save a tooth, or if it is better to pull a tooth to enhance overall dental health.