Wisdom Teeth Removal for Santa Rosa & Petaluma
Why do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?
Wisdom comes with ripe old age, but wisdom teeth arrive much sooner. When they do, their benefit is not a seasoned perspective on life, but often pain and trauma for the jaw.
Chronic pain is a signal that it is time to remove one or more wisdom teeth. Left untreated, problem wisdom teeth will continue to create negative effects in the mouth, from misalignment and bone loss to periodontal disease. Watchful waiting is not a prudent option, as the likelihood of complications from wisdom tooth removal increases with age.
Wisdom teeth are the final piece of your oral architecture, pushing up from back gums between the ages of 17 to 21. They don’t play any practical role when they complete your set of teeth; instead they seem to be atavistic additions that excel in pushing aside existing teeth or becoming impacted in their sockets.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure Details
Because they have deep roots and are located close to key nerves in the jaw, extraction of wisdom teeth must be done by a highly skilled professional who will ensure trauma to surrounding tissue is minimized. The most delicate procedures involve wisdom teeth that have not yet broken through the gum line. Extraction of impacted teeth may require the use of stitches to ensure optimal healing. Incorrectly performed extractions can lead to numbness, bleeding, damage to bone or surrounding roots, problems with sinus function and an exceptionally painful condition known as “dry socket.”
Recovery from Tooth Removal
Because wisdom tooth extraction is typically done with IV sedation, most patients report that the pain they experience occurs during recovery, after sedation has worn off. Pain may be intense, and can be effectively managed by medication prescribed by your dentist.
Antibiotics are also important, as a way to prevent tender tissue from developing an infection. It is normal for your face to be swollen after extraction, resulting in the classic barroom-brawl look associated with wisdom tooth extraction. The healing phase can take up to a week, with full recovery expected in about a month.
Early Detection of Problematic Wisdom Teeth
Dr. Sutton will begin tracking wisdom tooth progress for patients beginning in the teen years. Comprehensive X-rays can help him predict whether there is sufficient space for the teeth and if current trajectories foretell problems ahead.
Early detection of problems is important because extraction in younger years is much simpler than when the procedure is performed after roots and bone have thickened. By your 30s, what would have been a routine extraction becomes more complex. Recovery happens at a slower pace and may be more painful.
For patients in this age group and above, removal of impacted wisdom teeth is especially complicated; at this point, it may be advisable to allow the teeth to remain unless and until they cause additional problems, such as cysts or periodontitis.
To learn more about wisdom tooth extraction, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sutton. Call (707) 585-2555 to schedule your appointment at Sonoma Smiles.