Wisdom Tooth Extractions – Memorial Area of Houston, TX
Keeping Your Smile Healthy through Wisdom Tooth Extractions
At our Memorial Area dental office, we do our best to avoid the need to remove your natural teeth because we believe a healthy, happy smile is worth preserving. But in some situations, we may have little choice but to remove a tooth in order to protect the rest. Such is often the case with wisdom teeth. The good news is that our experienced, compassionate team can walk you through the extraction process for a smooth, low-stress experience.
What are wisdom teeth?
Before oral hygiene became a priority, people used to lose adult teeth at an earlier age. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, would then grow in between ages 16 and 22 to compensate for those gaps. Nowadays, most people retain their natural teeth for longer and do not need these teeth in order to function in daily tasks.
Why would wisdom teeth need to be removed?
There are several different reasons that extracting your wisdom teeth is beneficial, including the following:
- You don’t have sufficient room in your mouth for these extra teeth, meaning that your teeth will become overcrowded and misaligned without extraction.
- They are growing in at a drastic, unsafe angle (called impaction) and could cause an infection if left under the gum surface.
At your routine dental checkup, one of our experienced, skilled dentists will review your X-rays and look for any problems that the naked eye can’t see. If they identify one of these scenarios with your wisdom teeth, they will recommend extraction.
What happens during a wisdom tooth extraction?
How we approach wisdom tooth extraction depends on several factors, such as how many need to be removed, how deep they are in your jaw, and more. For the wisdom teeth that have already erupted, we may be able to simply use dental pliers and pull them out. Other times, we have to break the tooth into smaller chunks or go further into the gums to remove the wisdom teeth. No matter how we extract your wisdom teeth, you can rest assured that you will feel comfortable during the entire procedure.
What should I do after the extraction procedure to facilitate healing?
As with any surgical procedure, you need to take special care of yourself after wisdom teeth removal. Here are some of the things you must do to ensure that you heal properly and avoid infection:
- Refrain from rigorous activities for a few days.
- Keep the gauze in place for an hour. Replace as needed until bleeding stops, but allow a clot to form at the extraction site to protect the vulnerable tissue and nerves from bacteria.
- Avoid using a straw. The sucking motion could dislodge the clot and cause dry socket, a painful infection.
- Eat soft foods. Slowly work your way back up to harder foods, but stay away from crunchy foods like chips for a while.
- Rinse the area with warm salt water to keep it clean. You can brush your other teeth, but avoid the extraction site.