Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed and are there signs that I should?

Most people do not have room in their mouth for wisdom teeth. This causes the wisdom teeth to grow in at improper angles and leads to numerous future issues. One major reason for having wisdom teeth removed is to prevent damage to other teeth. Partially grown in wisdom teeth can Untreated wisdom teeth can create ‘food traps’ under the gums that catch food debris and bacteria, leading to oral hygiene issues such as gingivitis, gum disease (periodontal disease), bone loss and cavities on adjacent teeth. In addition, these wisdom teeth put pressure on the teeth in front, which can cause headaches, TMJ pain and shifting of teeth. With all of these factors considered, the benefit of keeping these teeth is heavily outweighed by the risk of keeping them.

Wisdom Teeth 3D Dental Model

Do you have to be put under to have them removed?

No! Many wisdom tooth removal cases are done with local anesthetic in addition to oral sedation. Oral sedation is as easy as taking 2 pills immediately before your dental visit. While the sedation will not have the same effect as general anesthesia, it reduces anxiety and will most often put the patient in a ‘twilight’ state where they are conscious enough to communicate while still receiving the comforting benefits of sedation. The oral sedation wears off quickly, so you’re mentally back to normal consciousness the next day.

What is the process of removing them like?

Having your wisdom teeth removed is a simple process made even easier with our CT imaging. With this imaging we can see all of the root structure in 3-D detail, making the process smooth and predictable. After making sure the patient is comfortable, the gums are gently moved away from the wisdom tooth. Next the wisdom tooth is methodically moved away from the bone surrounding it. After the tooth is removed, we place healing medicaments and sutures that will dissolve on their own in a few days (so you don’t have to come back to have them removed!)

What is the aftercare process like?

After the procedure, our patients are given a medication protocol to ensure the most comfortable and healthy aftercare process possible. The amount and length of aftercare healing is different for each person depending on the size, shape and location of the wisdom tooth. Most often patients may have some soreness for a few days after the removal

Dental Design Studio in San Diego, CA

How do I avoid infections or dry sockets?

Following wisdom teeth removal, following our medication and aftercare protocol will ensure the easiest healing phase possible. Avoiding straws, smoking or excessive spitting will reduce your chances of dry socket/infection. The key to an easy healing phase is to allow the wisdom teeth removal site to heal with minimal interruption or irritation. Taking precaution in these sites with eating, brushing and flossing will lower your risk for dry socket and infection.