Wisdom Tooth Extraction and Tooth Removal Options in Plymouth, MN
Removing your wisdom teeth is almost a rite of passage for many young adults.
Many parents can remember when they had theirs’ taken out or at very minimum remember some story of a friend who had them out. At Smile Design Dentistry, we want to make this process in family dentistry as smooth as possible as you or your child approach this event. We firmly believe that knowledge is power and in this situation that power can help you decide how best to have your wisdom teeth removed and take away some of the anxiety associated with the event.
Why Do I even have wisdom teeth?
First off, not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth are holdouts from an earlier time. Humans once had many more teeth than we do today, more teeth allowed for better chewing of tougher foods. As we developed better techniques for cooking and preparing food our jaw began to become smaller with fewer teeth. This continues today and we see people that have no wisdom teeth or have more than 4 additional wisdom teeth. In total most adults have 32 teeth, with 4 of these teeth being considered third molars or wisdom teeth.
Do I have to have my wisdom teeth out?
Possibly, it really depends on how the teeth are developing. In some cases there is enough room to accommodate the size of the wisdom teeth and gums around the teeth can be healthy. However, many people just simply lack the space to keep these teeth clean and free of decay or infection, even with the best oral hygiene habits. Sometimes teeth that have not erupted still require removal; wisdom teeth can develop pathology or abnormal growths around them that need to be removed for jaw bone health. We welcome you to ask questions of our doctors at Smile Design Dentistry regarding your oral heath and if wisdom teeth removal is right for you.
What options do I have for wisdom tooth surgery?
Wisdom teeth can be taken out in a number of different ways based on your desires to be comfortable during the process. First and foremost, you will be numb for the procedure. Whether awake or under sedation, basic anesthetic is used to eliminate pain during the course of the dental surgery. From there you can choose how aware of the procedure you prefer to be based on your level of anxiety.
Wisdom tooth surgery can be completed with only local anesthetics. You will be aware of what is happening but should feel nothing more than pressure associated with the surgery. We can prescribe anti-anxiety medications if you have a mild apprehension of the procedure but still want to be aware of what is happening. Finally, we have the option of providing IV sedation if that is desired for wisdom tooth extraction.
We take the safety and comfort of our patients very seriously, that is why we have opted to work in conjunction with a Nurse Anesthetist to aid in all of our sedation patients. This ensures you have not only a comfortable procedure but are in safe hands while under sedation for your wisdom tooth extraction. Please feel free to discuss these options further with your dentist; some may require transportation to and from the office or even a physical prior to having the surgery completed.
Is the Wisdom Tooth Extraction going to hurt?
During the Surgery itself you should be fully numb. If you are not sedated for the surgery you will be able to feel pressure but should not feel anything sharp. After the day of surgery there will be some soreness to be expected and potentially some swelling. Your dentist will go over post-surgery instructions with you to minimize both of these post-surgical likelihoods.
They will also discuss what level of medication would be appropriate to aid in pain control. The majority of patients do not experience major post wisdom tooth removal pain, but you will likely require some time to heal and recover from your surgery prior to resuming normal habits.
What can I expect after my wisdom tooth removal surgery?
A lot will depend on the extent of the surgery and level of impaction of your teeth. Generally speaking we want you to keep a soft food diet initially and reduce high intensity physical activity for at least 72 hours to 1 week post surgery. The name of the game is to take it easy after your surgery. The site of the extraction needs time to heal and recover. Delays in this will result in more discomfort and higher chance of post surgery infection or less ideal healing. You can expect to be sore and possibly have some mild swelling at the site of surgery. Your doctor will discuss tactics and medications to keep you comfortable and swelling at a minimum.
The day of the surgery, you may also have a small amount of blood oozing from the extraction site. This is normal and not a cause for alarm. You should have been provided with some gauze that you can dampen and bite on the area with firm pressure. Also a bag of black tea back can also help control any oozing from the surgery site. If you are having blood pooling in your mouth or feel that bleeding is beyond a slight ooze contact your doctor. Please keep your post op instruction sheet to remind you of the strategies for success in healing post-surgery. If for any reason something does not seem right or you have concerns, do not hesitate to contact your doctor and ask any questions you may have.
What exactly is a dry socket?
Dry sockets are actually normal healing but can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. Typically they occur 4-5 day after your extractions were completed. For one reason or another the clot that forms in the site gets dislodged or broken down. This results in the bone being exposed and in turn a significant increase in pain and discomfort. Often people report a pulsating, radiating pain of the jaw. Typically they occur in a lower extraction sites more so than upper sites and are associated with smoking, debris in the site, bad taste or odor from the site and returning to increased physical activity too quickly. We do have ways to manage the pain and discomfort if a dry socket were to happen to you, please contact us if you think you are experiencing this type of pain.
It is always our goal to make any procedure as comfortable as possible; this is especially true for surgical procedures. Our dentists at Smile Design Dentistry welcome your questions and the opportunity to work with you to maintain and improve your oral health.
If you have the need for wisdom tooth removal or questions regarding the process call us and make an appointment with one of our professional dental team members! 763-537-1238
Dr. Brett Moore is a lead Physician at Smile Design Dentistry. He is currently furthering his knowledge of implant dentistry at the Implant MAXI program at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Moore has memberships in the following associations: American Dental Association, Minnesota Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.