Just because you get braces doesn’t mean you have to have your wisdom teeth removed. That’s what most people believe, but it isn’t true. The reasons to remove your wisdom teeth have more to do with the possibilities of pain, infection, and damage to nearby teeth. In those cases, we prefer to remove your wisdom teeth rather than risk your teeth or get to the point where you’re suffering needlessly.
At Endicott Dental, we can determine whether your wisdom teeth may cause problems and whether you should have them removed. We can extract your wisdom teeth while providing as much comfort as possible, and we’ll send you home with everything you need to know on how to take care of yourself once your wisdom teeth are removed. Here’s a bit of what you can expect if your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Do I Have Wisdom Teeth?
Believe it or not, this is a good question. Not everyone has wisdom teeth! That’s something we’ll determine when you visit Endicott Dental in Broken Arrow, OK. Your wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars that were needed thousands of years ago when we were munching on diets of raw and dried meats. Nowadays, we don’t need those third molars as much, and our jaws have actually shrunk, making less room for the teeth. That means that those teeth may not have room to come in properly. That’s assuming they come in at all.
Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 22. Most people have the full set — two on top, two on the bottom. However, studies show that about a quarter of the world’s population only have 1-3 wisdom teeth, and 35% don’t have any at all! That’s why we perform x-rays to determine if you even have wisdom teeth.
Are Your Wisdom Teeth Broken?
Most people seem to think that if they get braces, they have to have their wisdom teeth removed, or they will push all the other teeth out of place. This isn’t the case. Your wisdom teeth might be able to move your back molars or even damage them, but they likely won’t affect the rest of the teeth.
The main reason we remove wisdom teeth is for pain management. If your wisdom teeth don’t have room to erupt, they may come in crooked or get stuck in your jaw, what we call “impacted.” Impacted teeth could become infected and cause pain. Teeth coming in crooked can push against nearby teeth and pinch the gums in between, which could also cause pain. Either way, we recommend removing the teeth to stop the pain.
If your wisdom teeth don’t come in correctly, they can also break during eruption. Can a dentist remove a broken wisdom tooth? Yes! We can remove the pieces of your broken wisdom teeth and extract the rest of the tooth from your jaw.
Without treatment, your impacted or damaged wisdom teeth could cause an infection that could spread and affect not only your oral health but your overall health as well. It could cause damage to your gums and jaw, which is why it’s important to check on your wisdom teeth if you feel any pain.
What Can I Expect During Broken Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Some of our patients find the idea of having their wisdom teeth removed a bit intimidating, even a little scary. Rest assured, Endicott Dental does all it can to ensure your experience is relaxing and pain-free. We offer various levels of sedation, including an IV sedation process that will sedate you enough, so you feel no pain.
Endicott Dental’s sedation dentistry services for wisdom teeth can include deep sedation through an IV. With this level of sedation, you will not remember the procedure and will feel no pain. But we will be able to wake you up right away. The other option is to use general anesthesia, which puts you into a deep state of unconsciousness. It will take time for you to recover from general anesthesia. In both cases, you will need a ride to and from your appointment and will need someone to stay with you that night to ensure there are no complications from your sedation because you will be at risk of a fall.
Once you are sedated, we will make an incision in your gum. We will extract your wisdom teeth by chipping away the bone holding it in the jaw. Once the teeth are removed, we will clean the hole and stitch your gum closed over the hole. The jawbone will fill in over time. The key to healing is creating a blood clot in the hole, and we will encourage that by packing it with gauze, which you will need to keep for a while once you leave the office. The gauze will also help control your bleeding, which also helps the blood clot form.
You’ll need to bite down on the gauze and hold it there to put pressure on the wound for about 30-45 minutes. After that, you can replace it with more gauze if you’re still bleeding. After another 30 minutes, you should be able to remove the gauze.
How Do I Eat and Care for My Jaw After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
For the first 24-48 hours, we recommend you stick to a liquid diet or one that requires no chewing. You might experience some mild nausea from the anesthesia and the blood, so take it easy the first night or so. After that, stick to soft food for a couple of days while your gums heal. You should be able to eat normally within 5-6 days. Make sure you do NOT use a straw the first couple of days because the suction can dislodge those important blood clots.
You can expect some swelling in the first few days, which is normal. You should be back to normal within a few days. You may also experience some pain, which is also normal. Usually, over-the-counter painkillers will help, but we may send you home with a prescription if necessary. We may also prescribe antibiotics to reduce the chances of infection. Make sure you take all of the antibiotics as prescribed, even if you feel better after a couple of days.
If your pain continues after several days or you experience any other complications, call us at Endicott Dental right away. We will bring you in for an examination to determine the next steps. The most common complication is dry sockets, where a blood clot becomes dislodged, making healing more difficult. We have treatments available to deal with this. If you feel aching in your jaw or ear 3-5 days after treatment, give us a call so we can check for dry sockets.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Broken Arrow, OK
Wisdom teeth can complicate your dental health, but Endicott Dental can take care of those wisdom teeth and their complications. We will guide you through the entire process and do all we can to make you feel comfortable about your procedure and relaxed throughout it. If you would like more information about wisdom teeth and whether you need yours removed, give us a call in our Broken Arrow, OK, office!