According to the National Institutes of Health, around five million people each year get a wisdom tooth extracted. The procedure can be preventive, or it can help alleviate issues that the eruption of wisdom teeth can cause. But what are wisdom teeth, and how can you know if you need a wisdom tooth extraction?
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the molars at the back of your mouth that erupt last, usually around your early 20s. They are also called third molars.
Some people experience the eruption of their wisdom teeth without any adverse effects, but many times, wisdom teeth can get fully or partially impacted in your jawbone or gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to infections, tooth decay, and pain.
When to Consider a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Your dentist will be able to evaluate your smile and determine whether it’s time to remove your wisdom teeth. In general, a wisdom tooth extraction may be necessary if you experience:
- Extreme pain
- Swollen gums
- Teeth crowding
- Increased sinus pressure
- Jaw issues
Additionally, partially impacted wisdom teeth can cause cavities because they can retain food particles that attract bacteria. If you see that you have developed cavities, even in other teeth, removing your wisdom teeth can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
If you have braces or other corrective devices, you also want to consider removing your wisdom teeth to prevent their eruption from pushing your teeth out of place.
What to Expect from a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The first step in getting a wisdom tooth extraction is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Harvey Chin at Vegas Dental Experts. During this consultation, you can share all about your medical history, the symptoms you have experienced, and whether you take any medications.
Dr. Chin will then take X-rays and scans using the latest CBCT technology, then discuss sedation options with you. Often, dentists rely on local anesthesia alone, but you can also ask for IV sedation or nitrous oxide if you have dental anxieties. Dr. Chin may also recommend IV sedation for more complex extractions.
In the days leading up to the procedure, you want to avoid taking blood thinning medications or supplements. You also want to avoid alcohol. On the day of the procedure, have someone with you who can drive you home because you may receive IV sedation.
Once we have numbed your gums and jaw and given you sedation, if necessary, we will expose the impacted wisdom tooth via incisions before loosening and shifting the tooth out of its socket. We will then clean the area and stitch it up. The entire process can take about an hour, and you can go home right after.
You can use ice packs and over-the-counter medications as you heal, and make sure to eat soft foods for a day or two. You also want to avoid strenuous exercise for 48 to 72 hours after the procedure.
Trust the Experts with Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If you notice pain or swollen gums, it may be a sign that you need a wisdom tooth extraction. At Vegas Dental Experts, Dr. Harvey Chin offers many types of tooth extractions to help you prevent further problems, specializing in using minimally invasive, pain-free, and affordable techniques.
Call Vegas Dental Experts today to speak with one of our experts.