Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. These teeth are located in the back of the mouth and can cause various oral health issues if they do not grow in properly.
At Black Point Dental, Dr. Ferguson and his team provide expert care in managing wisdom teeth-related problems.
There are a few different common issues that can arise when your wisdom teeth come in. For some people, their wisdom teeth come in with no issue, while others may face problems when their wisdom teeth come in.
- Impaction: Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there isn't enough room in the mouth for the tooth to emerge. This can lead to pain, swelling, and infection.
- Infection: An impacted wisdom tooth can create an environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to infection and potential damage to adjacent teeth.
- Crowding: When wisdom teeth emerge, they can push against other teeth, causing misalignment and discomfort.
If you experience impaction, crowding, or infection when your wisdom teeth come in, you may want to consider wisdom teeth extraction. This is when your wisdom teeth are extracted. This can offer you a few benefits.
- Pain Relief: Removing problematic wisdom teeth can alleviate pain and discomfort associated with impaction and crowding.
- Improved Oral Health: Extraction prevents infection, gum disease, and damage to adjacent teeth.
- Prevention of Future Problems: Timely removal of wisdom teeth can prevent more serious issues from developing down the line.
A wisdom tooth extraction is a dental procedure where one or more of your third molars (commonly known as wisdom teeth) are removed due to a variety of reasons, such as impaction, infection, or overcrowding.
The process involves several stages, including preparation, the actual procedure, and the recovery period.
Before the Procedure
The first step is visiting your dentist for a consultation. Dr. Ferguson will examine your teeth, gums, and jawbone using X-rays to determine if extraction is necessary and to plan the procedure.
Once he confirms that a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary, you will be given instructions to prepare for the surgery. These may include:
- Refraining from eating or drinking for at least 8 hours before the procedure.
- Arranging for someone to drive you home after the surgery.
- Informing the doctor about any medications you are taking, allergies, or medical conditions.
- Avoiding smoking or consuming alcohol 24 hours before the surgery.
During the Procedure
On the day of the procedure, Dr. Ferguson will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the wisdom tooth. Depending on the complexity of the extraction, sedation or general anesthesia may be used.
Once the anesthesia takes effect, the dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone. If the tooth is impacted or difficult to remove, it may be divided into smaller pieces. The dentist will then use dental instruments to loosen and extract the tooth gently.
After the tooth is removed, the dentist will clean the extraction site, removing any debris from the tooth or bone. If necessary, stitches may be placed to close the wound and promote healing. A gauze pad will be placed over the extraction site to control bleeding and aid in clot formation.
After the Procedure
Following the extraction, your dentist will provide you with aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth recovery. These may include:
- Applying ice packs to the face to minimize swelling
- Taking prescribed pain relievers and antibiotics
- Avoiding strenuous activities for at least 24 hours
- Eating soft foods and gradually transitioning back to your regular diet
- Avoiding smoking or using straws to prevent dislodging the blood clot
The initial healing phase usually takes one to two weeks, during which the extraction site will gradually fill with new bone and gum tissue. Maintaining good oral hygiene and following your dentist's instructions is essential to promote optimal oral health and prevent complications such as infection or dry sockets.
Depending on the complexity of the extraction, your dentist may schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress, remove stitches, or address any concerns.
At Black Point Dental, Dr. Ferguson and his team create tailored treatment plans to address your unique needs and concerns. This ensures that you receive the most effective care to improve your oral health.
Dr. Patrick Ferguson is a highly skilled dentist and a member of the Hawaii Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the American Board of Oral Implantology. He and his experienced team are committed to providing the highest standard of dental care.
Our Honolulu-based practice utilizes advanced dental technology to ensure precise diagnoses and effective treatments. This cutting-edge equipment enables us to provide you with the best possible care.
At Black Point Dental, we understand that dental visits can be stressful. We strive to create a comfortable and relaxing environment to make your experience as pleasant as possible.