Creating Room for Your Natural Smile
Extraction, the surgical removal of a tooth, is something that Dr. Cederbaum will try to avoid whenever possible. Typically, we’ll try and restore the damaged or infected tooth by using root canal therapy and protecting it with a dental crown. Although, extraction is sometimes the best route.
As far as extracting wisdom teeth goes, most people lack the space needed to accommodate all of their teeth. In these situations, extraction will help you avoid severe medical issues from occurring in the future.
Extracting Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the furthest back molars on each side of the lower and upper jawbones. Typically, wisdom teeth erupt during the end of adolescence or the beginning of adulthood — but more often than not, before the patient turns 21.
When a patient doesn’t have adequate spacing in their jawbone, any of their teeth including wisdom teeth can become impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth grows horizontally, putting pressure on other teeth and causing further issues. Impacted teeth might be blocked by another tooth, stuck in the jawbone, or failed to burst through the gum tissue — this can lead to problems, such as:
- Jaw pain and swelling
- Damage to other teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Difficulty cleaning around an impacted tooth
At Trailside Dentistry, Dr. Cederbaum can remove impacted teeth. Sometimes, the impacted teeth are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t affect the rest of your smile. In these situations, we might elect to leave them where they are.
What to Expect
On the day of your wisdom tooth extraction procedure, we’ll begin by administering a local anesthetic to numb your mouth. If dental procedures make you nervous or anxious, talk to Dr. Cederbaum about our sedation options.
Once you’re nice and numb, Dr. Cederbaum will make a small incision in the gum tissue that covers the tooth and bone. From there, she’ll remove the tooth, clean the surgical site of any debris, and close the wound. She’ll use stitches to hold the incision closed while it heals.
Depending on the anesthesia and sedation used, you’ll need someone to drive you home following the procedure.
The Importance of Letting the Incision Heal
The first 7-days after your wisdom tooth removal treatment are crucial — you need to take it easy so that your mouth can heal and avoid complications.
For example, bleeding is expected. However, spitting might dislodge the blood clot. Blood clots help expedite the healing response, so you’ll want to keep them intact if you can.
Other things that affect the healing process include:
- Swelling and bruising: Swelling usually dissipates after two to three days, and bruising can take a little longer. You can place an ice pack on the outside of your mouth over the concerned area to help.
- Stitches: Dr. Cederbaum typically uses dissolvable stitches so you won’t need to schedule a follow-up appointment to have them removed.
- Beverages: Water is the only recommended liquid following surgery. Avoid any sugary, alcoholic, carbonated drinks, or hot drinks. During the first 7-days of recovery, don’t use a straw because it can displace the blood clot.
- Tobacco use: Don’t smoke for at least 72 hours after your surgery. Not only can it cause infection, but the sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot, prolonging the healing process. You should avoid other forms of tobacco such as chewing tobacco for at least 7-days.