Wisdom Teeth Removal in Sterling Heights, MI
Unlike your other teeth, wisdom teeth can be a burden. If there isn’t enough room for them, they become impacted. If they do erupt, they can crowd other teeth and cause them to painfully shift, leaving you with a crooked smile and a bite that doesn’t line up.
Luckily, at Sterling Heights Dental, we can remove your wisdom teeth before they become problematic so you won’t have to worry about the repercussions of crooked teeth in the future. Learn about the importance of having your wisdom teeth removed and how it benefits the health of your smile.
Reasons For Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth can cause issues with the surrounding teeth and bone, compromising the beauty and functionality of your smile. There are a few reasons Dr. Johnson may recommend your wisdom teeth be extracted, including:
Partial eruption – As your teeth erupt, they get stuck under your gums, causing bacteria to build up and eventually leading to an infection
Overcrowding – Sometimes your jaw doesn’t have enough room for wisdom teeth which can cause adjacent teeth to become crowded and crack or break
Crooked teeth – If your wisdom teeth grow in crooked, it can place pressure on your surrounding teeth and increase your risk for tooth decay
While these are the main reasons for wisdom teeth extraction, Dr. Johnson may also recommend an extraction if you experience severe pain, repeated infection, gum disease, or tooth decay.
Types of Impaction
When your tooth doesn’t fully erupt, it can place pressure on your adjacent teeth and bone. There are various types of impaction and their angle in relation to your gums will determine the level of risk involved in avoiding treatment. Some impactions won’t require an extraction, while others will cause issues and require removal. The types of impaction include:
During vertical impaction, the wisdom tooth is growing in straight and rarely requires extraction. Extraction is only necessary if the tooth is putting pressure on the adjacent molar or the posterior bones.
Mesial impaction is the most common type of impaction. It occurs when the tooth is angled toward the front of the mouth. The tooth tends to push against the adjacent molar and may cause pain. The angle of the tooth determines whether it needs to be extracted.
Distal impaction occurs when the tooth is angled towards the back of the mouth. The increase in angle will increase the chances that your tooth won’t fully erupt and will hit the bone instead, requiring an extraction.
A horizontal impaction is typically the most painful and always requires an extraction. It occurs when the tooth lies parallel to your jawbone, pushing against your molar and causing extreme pain. This type of impaction may warrant the removal of some bone.
Dr. Johnson will examine your teeth, gums, and x-rays to determine the level of risk involved in your impaction. Some patients choose to have their wisdom teeth removed regardless of risk to avoid potential complications.
The Extraction Process
Dr. Johnson understands that teeth extractions can be a daunting task and she’ll ensure you’re comfortable throughout the surgery. Prior to beginning the procedure, she’ll numb the area surrounding your wisdom teeth with a local anesthetic.
Next, Dr. Johnson will open up the gum tissue in order to remove your impacted wisdom teeth. To finish the procedure, she’ll suture your gums and you’ll bite down on gauze until the bleeding stops.
Following the removal of wisdom teeth, you’ll want to follow a few guidelines to promote healing and prevent infection. In addition to any recommendations given by Dr. Johnson, you’ll want to:
Rest as needed
Avoid touching the extraction site
Apply a cold compress to help with pain and swelling
Take medications as prescribed
Avoid using a straw or smoking for 72 hours
Eat soft foods and chew away from the surgical site
Following these guidelines will ensure you protect the extraction site and avoid prematurely dislodging the blood clot, which causes a painful dry socket.
Wisdom tooth extractions generally take about 90 minutes to complete. The time varies depending on your situation, such as how many teeth you need to be removed and the position of your wisdom teeth.
In the days after your surgery, you’ll likely experience swelling and some pain. Dr. Johnson will give you detailed instructions on how to take care of your oral hygiene after surgery.
For the first 24 hours after surgery, make sure to eat only soft foods that won’t irritate your extraction site. Hot and cold foods or beverages can also cause issues for the surgical site, so keep away from those for a couple of hours after your procedure.
It’s also very important that you avoid using a straw for the first 24 hours. The suction required to use a straw can endanger your surgical site by preventing it from being able to heal. To avoid the risk of infection or other complications, it’s vital that you follow your post-op instructions.
Most people recover from their extractions within a couple of days. Wisdom teeth extractions can take longer to recover from due to their position and potential complications. You’ll likely experience discomfort and swelling for three to four days after the procedure.
If you take proper care of your mouth after your extraction, you’re likely to heal quicker. But it’s important to take the time to relax and let your body recover. Trying to rush back into your life can put your oral health at risk by making you more prone to infections.
If your extraction site is infected, call our office at (586) 939-5151 so we can set up a time for Dr. Johnson to examine your mouth. Depending on the degree of infection, she may be able to prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection.
Taking care of your oral hygiene and following post-op instructions are very important for avoiding infections and other complications. If you keep your mouth clean and don’t do anything to endanger your oral health within the first couple of days, you’re less likely to get an infection.
Avoid using a straw, smoking, and eating irritating foods for a while so your mouth can heal. It’s also important to keep your mouth clean to clear away any bacteria that may lead to infections.
Gentle Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Living with your wisdom teeth may lead to other dental problems. By removing your wisdom teeth, you can mitigate these issues and ease your stress. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Johnson by calling (586) 939-5151 or simply fill out the contact form and we’ll get back to you soon.