Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the last set of permanent molars to emerge. These teeth are also the most likely to require extraction, due to any of several complications. However, other teeth may also require extraction if they cannot be saved by root canal therapy or other treatment. Some of the most common reasons to have teeth extracted include:
- Impacted tooth – tooth is trapped beneath bone or gums and not emerging properly
- Crowding or small mouth – emerging teeth may cause other teeth to shift or crack due to lack of space
- Decay or infection – when a tooth is affected by extreme decay or infection that cannot be corrected with filling or root canal treatment, it may require extraction
Dr. Bayer or Dr. Jacomet may recommend extraction of one or more of your teeth if any of these issues apply to you. During your consultation, we may also recommend sedation dentistry to make your experience more comfortable.
After your extraction, you will need to be driven home by a friend or family member. You will require rest, but lie with your head propped on a pillow to prevent prolonged bleeding.
We will apply gauze when your extraction is complete. When it becomes soaked, change it for a fresh piece. Use pain medication and ice pack as directed for pain and swelling. If bleeding continues beyond 24 hours, contact our office immediately.
For the first few days following extraction, limit your diet to soft foods. Avoid smoking or using a straw, as the pressures created by these actions can slow clotting and loosen sutures.
For more information or an extraction consultation, contact our office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a preventive procedure? As you know, we at Cedar Bluff Dentistry prefer to take a proactive approach to dental health, meaning we don’t like to wait until something hurts to move forward with treatment. Each year more than 10 million wisdom teeth are removed in the US. Approximately 60% of these extractions would be considered elective.
Why have wisdom teeth removed? The average adult has 32 teeth by age eighteen, however the average mouth is only large enough to hold 28 teeth! These other 4 teeth are your third molars, otherwise known as wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, the majority of individuals do not have large enough jaws for these wisdom teeth to erupt into a normal, healthy and functional position in the mouth. If there is not adequate room for the teeth to erupt, the teeth become impacted into bone or soft tissue. This can cause shifting of adjacent teeth, swelling, soreness and infection. Impacted teeth are also known to develop cysts that can enlarge causing permanent damage to the adjacent bone, teeth and nerves. Even if wisdom teeth are able to erupt into the proper position, since they are extremely difficult to clean and prone to trapping food and bacteria, it is recommended to have them removed to improve overall health and prevent future issues.
Why shouldn’t I wait on wisdom teeth removal? We recommend wisdom teeth removal for patients in their late teens to early twenties. This is typically when the teeth are at the ideal formation stage to be removed without complication. The longer you wait, the jawbone and teeth begin to set and get harder. This creates more complexity leading to a more difficult recovery and increased chance of damage to the nerve.
What should I expect?
Scheduling: Our surgeries and sedations are scheduled on a limited basis. This ensures that our CRNA will be available and that patients will have the doctor’s complete attention during their procedures. After checking into any available insurance benefits, I will be reaching out to you to arrange a date for your child’s surgery. In an effort to minimize the amount of school/work your child will have to miss, we schedule our surgeries on Thursday mornings. Surgery dates can not be held without a minimum deposit.
Insurance/Cost: Cost will vary based on the insurance benefits that are available for the procedure. We do our very best to maximize your benefits while minimizing your out of pocket expenses. After verifying your oral surgery benefits, I will reach out to provide a treatment plan showing your estimated co-payment as well as the options that are available to you for payment.
Sedation: To keep your child pain free and ensure that they have a positive experience, we employ a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) to administer IV sedation during their procedure. Our patient’s safety is a top priority; therefore, we utilize a highly skilled CRNA to administer medications and monitor patients throughout their procedure. Please keep in mind that since your child will be sedated, it will be necessary for them to complete a pre-operative visit the week of their appointment (must have a parent or guardian if child is under 18 years old) to review consents and post op instructions. Your child will need to have a driver to and from their surgery appointment.
Recovery: Once the procedure is over, you can expect your child to feel a bit groggy. Our CRNA will monitor you until we feel as though your child is ready to be sent home. The average procedure lasts about 1.5 hours from start to finish. Recovery time depends largely on extent of the procedure; however, we typically advise patients to plan for 3-4 days for recovery. During this time, it is normal to expect soreness/swelling. It will also be important that post op instructions are followed closely, including a soft food diet, rest and taking prescribed medications as directed.